The House has passed a measure to make several significant changes to the National Flood Insurance program by a vote of 237-189. Of most immediate importance, it reauthorizes NFIP, whose statutory authorization expires on December 8th. The Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), has previously called the NFIP “a bankrupt program that is being funded, regrettably, by a bankrupt nation.”
Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@HDMarlowe) received tweets yesterday alerting you that the text of the bill had been changed from the time it was approved by committee to the time it reached the House floor. I also tweeted the 25 sections that had been added to the final version. You can find those highlighted in the unofficial text of the measure as passed that can be found here on our WaterLog website.
Following are two reports on the House action --
Although the vote was largely along party lines, there were 15 Democrats who voted for the bill (4 from California, 1 from Oregon and 1 from Minnesota to cite coastal members only) and 14 Republicans who voted against the bill (all from coastal states). One of the latter group, Steve Palazzo, stated “I will not support legislation that increases premiums, while also neglecting to address the program’s debt."
It is not clear that the Senate will pass its own flood insurance reauthorization bill this year, which means a likely short-term until next year. In case you have forgotten, 2018 is an election year from all Members of the House and 1/3 of the Senate. That usually makes it more difficult to pass controversial measures the closer Election Day looms.