Congress

Congress

Why must the delays continue?

That’s a question Congress must answer in reference to its continuous delay on a fix to the National Flood Insurance Program.

In 2018 alone, the program has received three short-term extensions.

The four-month reprieve the Senate passed hours before a July 31 expiration seemed much longer when compared to the seven-day extension lawmakers granted Nov. 30, and now the 14-day floater that will allow the NFIP to remain intact until Dec. 20.

The deficits in the program remain the biggest stumbling block toward a long-term renewal. President Donald Trump forgave $20 billion of the $36 billion in spring of this year.

The steep costs for damage from heavy rain events this year in several parts of the country brought more red ink to the program.

NFIP gained important allies from Texas, Florida and the Northeast – all which were hammered in flood events over the past few years – which has created extra leverage for the program to remain intact.

The program needs all the support it can get with opposition from both sides of the floor in both the Senate and the House from lawmakers who would prefer to eliminate the program altogether.

It’s easier said than done. More than 5 million American homeowners rely on NFIP for flood insurance coverage.

The pullout from large insurance carriers such as State Farm and Allstate has further necessitated the continuation of the program.

Perhaps some changes are needed to protect the program’s sustainability, but millions of families relied on this program to help them when it would seem no options remain.

Lawmakers in Washington need to stop the delays and stalling tactics, and instead focus on restructuring NFIP and ensuring its long-sustainability.

A total of 5 million households who depend on the program should be enough reason to keep it intact.

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