Federal flood program revamp remains elusive
R.J. Lehmann, director of finance, insurance and trade policy in Washington for R Street, which is a member of the SmarterSafer coalition advocating for reforms to the NFIP, noted that a straight extension means that a lame-duck Congress would likely be deciding the future of the program as it nears another expiration.
“We don’t know what the partisan makeup of Congress will look like at that point,” he said. “From a free market perspective, if the Republicans were to lose control of either or both chambers of Congress, I would certainly advise them to take action in the lame duck.”
The House vote was not without controversy as House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, took to the House floor to criticize the Senate’s inaction on a reform package passed by the House in November.
“Never underestimate the Senate’s capacity to do nothing and unfortunately the Senate has done nothing,” he said, adding that the Senate may not even take up the straight reauthorization.
Senate leaders have ruled out a vote on the House reform package, but have not specified what they prefer, Mr. Lehmann said.
The bill represented “a set of the least controversial reforms, the lowest-hanging fruit,” Mr. Lehmann said. “The Senate will not take it up.”