New Legislation Looks To Extend National Flood Insurance Program

ial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Housing Subcommittee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., have introduced new legislation to authorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through March 31, 2010. Unless Congress acts to extend the program, the NFIP is due to expire at the end of September – the middle of hurricane season. ‘We saw the importance of this program following Hurricane Katrina and other storms that have devastated the Gulf Coast," Walters said in a joint press statement. "Letting the program expire in the middle of hurricane season would have serious repercussions for areas prone to flooding. A six-month extension is prudent and necessary." Created in 1968, the NFIP provides over $1 trillion of flood insurance to more than 5.5 million homes and businesses. Waters and Frank have also announced their intention to draft a new bipartisan measure to reform the NFIP. The updated legislation would incorporate NFIP reforms previously approved by the House in 2007 and consider new studies and information not available when the committee last reviewed the NFIP. Frank and Waters say they plan to engage the Obama administration and officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the NFIP. "This program is very important and very much in need of revision," added Frank in the press statement. "Passing an extension of the act will prevent any gap in the important work it does, while giving us the chance to improve it both from the economic and environmental perspectives." SOURCE: House Financial Services Co

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