Industry trade organizations said politicians are scrabbling over certain provisions in the bill unrelated to the NFIP.
These provisions in the “tax extenders bill” would allegedly add to the federal deficit, those against the measure claim.
“We cannot afford to have political disagreements get in the way of protecting millions of Americans from flood losses,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. “The lack of action by Congress is unacceptable.”
Complicating matters is the fact hurricane season began June 1 and an active season is forecasted. The only way for homeowners to get flood insurance is through NFIP, but right now no NFIP policies can be written or renewed, which also prevents real estate closings from occurring if a property is in a floodplain.
The program protects about 5.5 million homeowners.
“If nothing else, we have to immediately address the coastal homeowners who are preparing for the hurricane season now,” said Ben McKay, senior vice president of federal government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
Even if today’s bill was passed, NFIP policies would not be active until mid-July because of a current 30-day waiting period from when a policy is bought, insurance representatives said.
The Senate could approve an amended version of the bill it voted down today.
It would then go back to the House.