President Obama has signed legislation that provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency with $9.7 billion in short-term borrowing that will enable the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to process claims from Hurricane Sandy-related damage.
TheHill.com reports that the legislation, which Obama signed into law yesterday, does not address how long the increased borrowing will remain in effect, nor does it address future limitations on future borrowing. The impetus for the bill was a concern that NFIP funds would have run out today without the extension.
The federal response to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts created a controversy last week when House Speak John Boehner, R-Ohio, intentionally delayed a vote on the issue following the fiscal cliff negotiations. Boehner reversed himself after sharp bipartisan criticism, and the House of Representatives passed the $9.7 billion NFIP bill on Friday; the Senate followed suit shortly afterwards. A second bill that would offer an additional $51 billion in relief aid will be voted on by the House on Jan. 15.