Mississippi Senator Pushes for One Year National Flood Insurance Program Extension

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Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is seeking legislation to extend NFIP for another year beyond September 30.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is approaching its expiry date on September 30, but Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is pushing for legislation that will provide another year’s extension.

Over five million American families and businesses rely on NFIP protection, many of which are in the state.

More than 60 thousand people in Senator Hyde-Smith’s home state depend on National Flood Insurance Program coverage. The senator is one of the NFIP Extension Act of 2021 (S. 2724) original co-sponsors. The NFIP Extension Act of 2021 was written with the intention of providing the program with an extension that would last until September 30, 2022. Since the current program will expire at the end of this month, that would offer a full additional year of the program.

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Hyde-Smith says it is “irresponsible” to let the National Flood Insurance Program lapse mid-hurricane season.

“Without a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program in place, it is critical that we extend this program for people in Mississippi and around the country who rely on this coverage to protect their homes and businesses,” said Hyde-Smith. “In the midst of an active hurricane season, it would be irresponsible for Congress to let this program lapse.”

NFIP has faced increasing challenges in recent years as increasingly active Atlantic hurricane seasons with increasingly severe storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -run program is deeply in debt and this situation has been rapidly worsening. That said, despite bipartisan agreement that it requires a considerable overhaul, a viable alternative has yet to be passed.

Several times, the program has neared or gone beyond its expiry date without an alternative option to present to those whom it covers. Eventually, it has always been renewed as there is bipartisan agreement that allowing it to lapse without a feasible alternative would be detrimental in several states.

The National Flood Insurance Program extension measure was introduced by US Senator John Kennedy (R-La), and was co-sponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla). It has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

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