U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R.-La., said he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D.-Nev., have forged a bipartisan agreement to allow floor time on a five-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) when it returns after Memorial Day weekend for the Congressional work period that runs June 2 through July 1.
Meanwhile, the Senate is also planning to agree to a short term 60 day extension of the NFIP this week.
The House has already approved a 30-day extension of the program that will expire next week on May 31 if Congress fails to act.
More than 10 months ago, the House also passed a five-year reauthorization bill that includes reforms but similar legislation has been stalled in the Senate.
Congress has approved more than a dozen short-term extensions of the NFIP in the past few years. Vitter said this latest agreement, while involving yet another short-term extension, should end the stalemate over the long-term fix to the debt-ridden federal program.
“The National Flood Insurance Program has been barely hobbling along with a Band-Aid approach – extending it for short periods of time. Reaching an agreement to allow the Senate to fully debate this on the floor and to work on getting it reauthorized for five years will be great, much needed news for homeowners and the housing market,” Vitter said. “Moving the ball forward on this is a big, big step, especially as we approach hurricane season.”