The Hill: 41 senators call for long-term flood insurance bill

A bipartisan group of 41 senators on Monday called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass a long-term flood insurance bill either this month or as soon as possible when the Senate returns from next week’s President’s Day break.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expires at the end of May this year, and since 2008, the program has been extended only for short periods of time. The senators wrote that the program expired four times in 2010, resulting in a lapse of coverage.

“It has been estimated that those program lapses resulted in the delay or cancellation of more than 1,400 home closings per day, further damaging an already fragile housing market,” the senators wrote.

The letter, led by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and David Vitter (R-La.), also notes that while the House approved a long-term flood insurance program last July, the Senate has yet to move on a bill approved by the Senate Banking Committee.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America welcomed the letter and said it shows the Senate is ready to follow the House’s lead.

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