Congress Passes Extension to National Flood Insurance Program

Aug 01, 2018

The U.S. Senate waited until the very last day but finally approved legislation that will extend the National Flood Insurance Program, which would have expired on Tuesday night, through Nov. 30, which happens to be the last day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The bill, written by Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur, who represents New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District that includes half of Stafford Township and all of Barnegat Township, had passed the House of Representatives last Wednesday. It now awaits President Trump’s signature.

If the NFIP were to expire, current policyholders would not be affected until their policies expired at the end of their terms. But new policies could not be created, which could put a serious hurt on the Jersey Shore’s real estate market; flood insurance is required for homes and businesses in flood zones in order to obtain mortgages.

“Allowing the National Flood Insurance Program to lapse because of Washington dysfunction is something I would not allow to happen,” said MacArthur in a statement released after the Senate acted. “Despite opposition from leaders in my own party, I did what is right for my constituents and fought for a NFIP reauthorization. I am thankful that the Senate finally acted to pass this bill and protect millions of Americans, this hurricane season. I am hopeful that the President will follow Congress’ lead and sign this into law today.”

MacArthur wasn’t exaggerating when he said there was opposition within his own party. His bill passed the House by a 366-to-52 vote with 10 members not voting; 51 of the nay votes came from members of the GOP.

This legislation was the sixth short-term extension of the NFIP since long-term authorization expired in September 2017.

“This reauthorization addresses the immediate issue at hand, but Congress’ work is not done,” said MacArthur. “Both chambers and members of both parties must come together to craft a long-term reauthorization that provides stability, holds FEMA accountable, invests in mitigation, and offers affordable coverage. I will continue fighting for my constituents who depend on this program.” —R.M.

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