Congressman Rick Berg today expressed cautious optimism following reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will bring up a five-year flood insurance reauthorization and reform bill during the Senate's next work session.
"After 325 days and six short-term extensions since the House passed a five-year flood insurance reauthorization, it's nice to see that Harry Reid has finally come to the realization that a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program is an important issue for many homeowners across the country," stated Berg. "As we continue to rebuild from last year's devastating floods, it is critical that North Dakotans have the stability this 5-year reauthorization offers. A long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program will give North Dakotans living near floodplains and in our communities the certainty they need and deserve."
The Flood Insurance Reform Act, which contained Berg's amendment to protect flood insurance holders in the event of long-lasting flooding and unexpected water releases, like those experienced in North Dakota and other Midwestern states last spring, overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 406 -- 22 on July 12, 2011.
Berg's amendment would protect individuals, like many of those living along the Missouri River, who have purchased flood insurance less than 30 days before the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declares a "flood in progress" who have not sustained damage or loss to property within the 30-day waiting period required.
To date, Senate Leadership has chose not to bring the House bill before the Senate, but this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that he planned to bring up a five-year reauthorization during the Senate's next work session. Since July 12, 2011, Congress has passed six short-term extensions of the National Flood Insurance Program and have allowed it to lapse four times.