Under yet another short-term consolidated appropriations bill, H.R. 2055, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and signed into law by President Obama on the last business day before Christmas, the National Flood Insurance Program has been renewed again – this time until May 31, 2012.
Had the bill not passed, or the President refused to sign it, the Program would have lost its authority to issue new flood insurance policies or renew existing policies, at midnight on December 23rd.
Representatives of the Big “I” – the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America – are pleased with the reauthorization, but continue to push for program reforms, and a long-term authorization for the program.
Speaking on behalf of fellow agents and brokers, Charles E. Symington, Jr., the senior vice president for government affairs with the Big “I,” said, “It is important to note that our work on this important issue is far from over and the next few months provide ample opportunity for Congress to pass long-term extension and reform legislation that provides the necessary certainty for consumers.”
He also pointed out that traditionally, program extensions were granted in five-year periods in order to help keep the market stable, but that in recent years such extensions have usually been in 30-day to six-month terms.
Big “I” vice president for government affairs, John Prible, also spoke about the reauthorization, saying, “Today’s extension, although greatly appreciated, is just a temporary patch.”