After recent House action on a continuing resolution the government funded National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) got a reprieve and will stay on life support ~ for now. The funding for the program has been continued, again, until November 18th which should give the congress just enough time to settle differences between the House and Senate versions of reform bills.That is, if the Senate would pass their version.
The House version of a long-term extension (The Flood insurance Reform Act of 2011) has already been passed. The Senate version (The Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act) passed out of the Banking Committee in September. If the Senate would pass that bill then Congress could work to merge the two bills and send them to the President's desk.
However, as is sometimes the case, a new proposal from two Senators has cropped up asking that Section 107 of the Senate bill be removed prior to passage by Senate. 107 covers areas of the country that are located behind levees, dams or other flood control measures. These areas may be determined to be areas of "residual risk" and would then require Flood insurance. And even though there is already a way for the areas to be exempted but the Senators are still asking for the change, even under the time pressure put on the NFIP by the November 18th funding deadline. There are a large number of real estate transactions that require flood insurance coverage and would be placed in jeopardy by a failure of Congress to pass long term legislation.
In a recent publication Henry Harrison wrote about the NFIP as wll as his personal experience with Hurricane Irene and with FEMA personel, whom he described as "professional, courteous and genuinely helpful." He concluded his article with the following statement; "Seems Congress is once again playing brinksmanship with America's flood insurance program. After our recent experience, that doesn't seem wise to us."
You can read more from Henry's article at http://www.revmag.com/.