The U.S. Senate delayed action last night on a federal omnibus bill that provides funding to most of the federal government, including the nation’s federal flood insurance program that expires today.
However, lawmakers are expected to vote today to extend the program until March 11.
Discussions over provisions in the omnibus bill came to a halt last night just one vote shy of passage in the Senate, said John Prible, government affairs spokesperson for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.
The House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through March 11.
“That’s an extra five-day extension to buy the Senate more time to work through their [omnibus] bill,” Prible said.
Prible said it’s expected that the Senate this afternoon will pass the same continuing resolution extending the program until March 11.
Without an extension from lawmakers, the NFIP will expire at 11:59 p.m. tonight. After that, agents and brokers would no longer be able to write, renew or endorse NFIP policies.
Cliston Brown, director of federal public affairs for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, confirmed the House passed the five day continuing resolution and says it’s pending in the Senate.
“We have been told by our contacts in Congress that a brief extension will pass today, effective through next Wednesday, to give the House and Senate time to reconcile on the overall omnibus package,” Brown wrote in an e-mail to Insurance Journal.
Prible added that he expects the Senate will ultimately pass the omnibus bill but more time is needed to resolve issues.
“I think the expectation is that the Senate will complete the omnibus bill and will end up passing it,” Prible noted. “They just needed more time than originally thought to get that done.”
Sources: IIABA, PCI
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