House Passes Extension of National Flood Insurance Program

In a bipartisan, 366-52 vote, the U.S. House today passed a four-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Senate is expected to take up the House bill this week, as the program’s authorization is set to expire next Tuesday, July 31st.

The House legislation, introduced by Representatives Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) would extend the NFIP through Nov. 30. The NFIP provides critical flood insurance to homeowners in more than 22,000 communities nationwide, but Congress has wrestled for years with proposals to reform the program, which remains on shaky financial footing.

Both the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have called on their members to lobby Congress to ensure the program does not expire, an outcome that NAR estimates could result in about 40,000 fewer home sales per month.

“Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States,” NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall said after today’s House vote. “Without an extension of authority, the National Flood Insurance Program cannot write or renew flood insurance in 22,000 communities nationwide.

“The bill passed by the House today ensures the program remains available to those Americans who rely upon it, while enabling Congress to continue working toward a long-term reauthorization and reform measure. We urge the Senate to take swift action on this bill before the program expires on July 31.”

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