On June 28, the U.S. Senate approved its version of the farm bill, which includes an amendment offered by Sens. Kennedy (R-La.) and Cassidy (R-La.) that would extend the authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for six months. The existing authorization for NFIP is set to expire on July 31, 2018.
Earlier in June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the farm bill, but did not include an NFIP extension. The bills will now be negotiated by a conference committee, where the House and Senate will resolve differences between the two versions. Once final text is approved by the conference committee, the bill will return to both the House and Senate floor for final approval.
It is unclear if NFIP will remain in the final text. and whether both chambers will reach agreement on a final farm bill before NFIP expires later this month. The program was extended in March 2018 in the omnibus spending package.
NFIP last received a long-term reauthorization in 2012 through the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, extending the program through September 30, 2017. Since then, the program has continued to operate under a series of short-term extensions. NACo will continue working with lawmakers to ensure county priorities are maintained and the needs of counties and their residents are met as NFIP is reauthorized.
NFIP was created under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to provide insurance coverage to property owners for damages and losses due to catastrophic flooding. The program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance and encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. Additionally, the program provides funding for local governments to develop mitigation plans to prepare for future flooding events.