U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., spoke on the Senate floor to promote extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is set to expire on May 31. Vitter supports a long-term five year extension and urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to bring the bill forward as soon as possible. Vitter sent a bipartisan letter to Reid on Feb. 13, signed by 41 Senators, urging the passage of the five-year reauthorization.
“The National Flood Insurance Program has been barely hobbling along with a band-aid approach extending it for short periods of time,” Vitter said. “We have made important bi-partisan progress to reauthorize the program, and I will continue working to get the legislation passed through the Senate.”
Last year, Vitter authored and passed legislation extending the NFIP through May 31. The NFIP was last fully reauthorized in 2004 and has since been sustained by thirteen short-term extensions. Vitter’s serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, which in September approved a bill, S. 1940, to extend the NFIP through 2016. That bill is still awaiting a vote before the full Senate.
In September 2010, Congress approved and President Obama signed Vitter’s bill to extend the NFIP for one year, guaranteeing coverage for millions of Americans who depend on federally-issued flood insurance.
Vitter, who serves as ranking member of the economic subcommittee with jurisdiction over NFIP, worked closely with subcommittee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., to ensure that S. 1940 includes much more reasonable phase-in times to reach actuarial rates and a study of including additional lines of business in the NFIP. This will help those in areas where the private market does not provide coverage and it will improve the solvency of the NFIP.