July 2, 2018…Last weekend, several senators attached a 6-month extension as an amendment to the Agriculture Improvement Act, which passed the Senate. While this is a positive step, the bill now moves to a House-Senate conference where the differences are not likely to be resolved before the NFIP expires on July 31. As a result, another vehicle must be found or an extension must pass on a stand-alone basis. Senator Jack Reed has been a champion in the fight to extend and reform the National Flood Insurance Program and is working tirelessly on this issue. (Please see his statement below.)
If you have not already responded to NAR’s call for action, please do so now. With signs of forward movement, it is more important than ever to step up the pressure and tell Congress don’t let flood insurance lapse. Renew NFIP today!
Statement from Senator Jack Reed:
“As you know, the authorization for the NFIP expires on July 31, 2018. In order to prevent a lapse in the program, I recently joined my colleagues in passing the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. Included in this legislation is a provision that will extend the NFIP until January 31, 2019. A conference committee must now work to resolve the differences between the Senate version of the Farm Bill and the legislation passed by the House of Representatives. I am hopeful this can be done before the end of July, or that a free-standing flood insurance bill can be adopted.
“The stakes are high. If the NFIP is not reauthorized or extended, new insurance policies cannot be issued and existing policies cannot be renewed. Any lapse in the program could be disastrous for anyone trying to renew a policy or complete a real estate transaction that requires flood insurance. I believe that Congress must keep the program from expiring while also working to institute reforms that help lessen the risk of flood loss and keep premiums affordable.
“As such, I have introduced S. 1507, the State Flood Mitigation Revolving Fund Act, which would help states create low-interest revolving loan programs to help property owners and communities finance flood mitigation projects that will reduce risk and lower premiums. I have also cosponsored the Sustainable, Affordable, Fair, and Efficient (SAFE) National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which extends the NFIP for six years and includes consumer protection and affordability provisions, including a ten percent cap on premium increases.
“While the NFIP offers important coverage for flood loss, there are other essential initiatives to prevent flood damage that Congress must continue to support with adequate funding. This includes the flood mapping, pre-disaster mitigation, and flood mitigation programs. As such, I led my colleagues in sending a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, requesting robust funding for these initiatives. I am pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, rejected proposals by the Trump Administration to dramatically scale back these programs. In fact, the Committee made a significant investment in them in the Fiscal Year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations bill that passed on June 21.
“Please be assured that I will continue my work to ensure that Rhode Islanders have access to affordable flood insurance to protect their homes and businesses.”