WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Administration late Friday, Dec. 28 reversed its decision to suspend sales of new flood insurance policies and renewals during the partial government shutdown.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long made the announcement after backlash from lawmakers, mortgage companies and homeowners.
The announcement drew applause from Republican U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John N. Kennedy of Louisiana, who have played a key role in legislation to bring a long-term re-authorization to the taxpayer-funded flood insurance program.
“FEMA’s initial NFIP guidance made no sense, and I’m happy to announce they are heeding my direction and will start selling new flood insurance policies again. It’s unfortunate so many people were inconvenienced due to FEMA’s error, but I’m glad they are correcting it so home sales in limbo can proceed,” Cassidy said. “Now if only Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other Washington Democrats will also listen to common sense, we can pass a bill to secure the border and end this partial government shutdown.”
Kennedy said the reversal validates his stance from the time President Trump signed the five-month reauthorization Dec. 21.
“It’s taken a lot of phone calls to Washington, D.C., but FEMA finally came around to what I recognized from the beginning. My reauthorization legislation, which was signed by President Trump into law, prevents any disruption to the National Flood Insurance Program,” he said. “President Trump and FEMA Administrator Brock Long worked with me and the rest of the Louisiana delegation on this issue, and I thank them. Now 500,000 policyholders across the state can celebrate the new year without worrying about their homes.”
The Federal Emergency Management Administration announced Dec. 26 it would not write or renew policies during the government shutdown, which will likely continue into 2019.