Congress approved a five-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as part of a larger bill that encompassed an extension of the federal highway program and lower interest rates for student loans.
TheHill.com reports that the bill passed the House of Representatives 373-52 and the Senate 74-19. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. The NFIP is the nation's only supplier of flood insurance, and it was set to expire on July 30.
The NFIP portion of the bill was a last-minute addition after standalone legislation authorizing the program's extension was stalled in the Senate when Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sought to add an unrelated amendment that defined conception as the beginning of life. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refused to allow a vote on the bill if the Paul amendment was included.