Why expect Congress to worry about your flood insurance?
Federal officials are putting fresh pressure on Congress to take action on the National Flood Insurance Program, whose authorization expires at the end of this month, one day before hurricane season begins.
The NFIP has been a political football in Washington for years, particularly because of the unsustainable debt load it took on in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There is a broad push to reform the program and put it on a sound financial footing, but competing visions on that reform (including whether to forgive the program’s debts) have stalled legislation.
For now the program remains in business with repeated short-term extensions [which is what you get with today’s Republicans + Kool Aid Party], though in 2010 it was allowed to lapse for a few weeks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is warning of serious consequences if that happens again…
Federal law requires that homes in designated flood-risk areas have flood insurance before a mortgage can be completed. Because the NFIP is effectively the only flood insurance available in the United States, a lapse in the program means home sales cannot close in designated flood areas…
For now the debate appears to be focused on whether to move ahead with reform legislation pending in the U.S. Senate or to simply reauthorize the existing program.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, in an April 17 letter to congressional leaders, asked for a two-year reauthorization.
An insurance industry coalition…condemned that request last week…blah, blah, blah.
Are we supposed to believe that Congressional Republicans are motivated by concerns for homeowners who have only the NFIP to rely on for flood insurance? The Tea Party has to call the insurance companies for instructions on how to
pee brew their tea. The same old dance of death for the simplest of actions on behalf of citizens.
Given their track record, the right-wing nutballs in Congress will probably want homeowners to give up their right to sue against eminent domain taking of their property – as compensation for being allowed to buy insurance.