The U.S. House passed a continuing resolution (CR) on the evening of February 8 by a vote of 272-162 to fund the federal government through March 11, 2022. A short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is included in the CR. Funding for the federal government and authority for the NFIP are both still set to expire February 18 at midnight unless the Senate also agrees to extend funding.
To avoid a federal government shutdown and a lapse in funding for the NFIP, the CR now moves to the Senate, where it must pass before midnight February 18.
The history of NFIP extensions has been notoriously messy. The program was extended 17 times between 2008 and 2012, at which time the NFIP was reauthorized again for five years. That multi-year reauthorization was the NFIP’s last long-term renewal to date. It expired on September 30, 2017, and the NFIP is now on its 18th short-term extension since then. Every time Congress opts for another short-term extension, the program’s risk of lapse increases, and, predictably, the NFIP briefly lapsed three times in 2018 alone.
Unfortunately, even short lapses can have a negative effect on consumers and the economy. If the NFIP does lapse, it would no longer have the authority to issue new policies or renew existing ones, among other limitations. Historically, the program continues to adjust and pay claims arising out of flood losses incurred before or during a lapse while the lapse is in progress.
PIA is encouraging the Senate to pass the extension as soon as possible.