The House of Representatives gained a two week extension for the federal flood insurance.
Congress extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by two weeks after it failed to pass a $19 billion disaster aid bill. The House of Representatives was seeking unanimous consent for the bill which contained a flood insurance reauthorization provision.
NFIP had been set to expire as of Friday, but the two week extension was granted in time.
With less than six hours left before the National Flood Insurance Program, the fast-track unanimous consent vote approved the extension. That said, the challenges for the program are hardly over. The reauthorization may have been approved by the House, but there are now only two weeks to come up with something longer-term. The extension had already received its Senate approval by voice vote the week before.
The new NFIP reauthorization means that the first two weeks of the official hurricane season will be covered. Insurers will be able to keep issuing flood insurance policies throughout that time, said an Insurance Journal report.
The $19 billion disaster aid bill received its Senate approval including a flood insurance extension that would run through September 30. That said, a number of Republican lawmakers stood in the way of a broader measure. Those lawmakers used a House rule that stops unanimous consent in the event of a single member’s objection.
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The halt to the disaster aid bill and longer National Flood Insurance Program extension was not the first.
Rep. John Rose (Tennessee) gave the objection to stop the unanimous consent for the disaster bill. He became the third Republican last week to object to the disaster aid bill’s unanimous consent. This set the state for a fast-track vote exclusively for the NFIP provision.
“Today, I objected to passing a spending request of over $19 billion without members of Congress present in Washington,” Rose said. “It is of dire concern to me, as it should be to each member of Congress, that Speaker Pelosi is attempting to push through a $19.1 billion spending bill without any debate in Congress.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was openly critical of the Republican steps to stop the disaster aid bill. “Every day that House Republicans obstruct and delay, more American families are left to suffer.”
The House, under Democratic control, will return to session on June 3. At that time, it is expected to pass the $19 billion disaster aid measure and National Flood Insurance extension. President Donald Trump has said that the bill has his support.