National Flood Insurance Program Still Hanging on a Thread

The following was originally drafted on December 4, 2018.
As we reported last summer, Flood Insurance – Congress Continues to Play Games, the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until November 30, 2018. This was the sixth short-term extension of the NFIP.
The NFIP was originally set to expire on September 30, 2017.

  • On September 8, 2017, Congress passed a short-term extension set to expire on December 8, 2017.
  • On December 8, 2017, the NFIP received a second short-term extension through December 22, 2017 and a third short-term extension through January 19, 2018.
  • The NFIP lapsed between January 20, 2018 and January 22, 2018, but received a fourth short-term reauthorization through February 8, 2018.
  • The NFIP lapsed for approximately eight hours during a brief government shut-down in the early morning of February 9, 2018. However, the NFIP received an extension in the omnibus spending bill through July 31, 2018.

With the July deadline approaching, on June 28, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved its version of the farm bill, which includes an amendment that would extend the authorization of the NFIP for six months. The House opposed a six-month extension because it would leave the fate of the program up to the 116th Congress. The House Amendment to S. 1182 only extends the program until November 30, 2018, maximizing pressure on Congress to enact a permanent solution that makes necessary reforms and provides certainty for insurance providers and housing markets.
Once again congress was not up to the task for making real changes. On December 1, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends, for the seventh time, the National Flood Insurance Program’s authorization to December 7, 2018. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on December 7, 2018.
So what’s your guess – will Congress fix the many problems with the NFIP or kick the problems down the road for the next Congress? Watch for details later this week or at the beginning of next week.