A bipartisan group of 41 senators is urging for quick passage of a bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program for five years.
The program, which is set to expire May 31, has been operating under a series of short extensions for the last two years, and in 2010 lawmakers allowed it to expire four times.
Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and David Vitter (R-La.) wrote a letter Feb. 13 to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling on the Senate to take action on a bill to reform and extend the program for the long term.
The House approved its version of a bill July 12 by a 406-22 vote. A Senate version won bipartisan support in the Senate Banking Committee and now is awaiting floor action. In their letter, Tester and Vitter said that with the right support, the bill can be brought to the floor, debated and passed before the end of May.
"We believe that passage of a comprehensive, bipartisan flood reauthorization bill is within reach, and we respectfully urge you to schedule such a debate," they wrote.
Insurance trade groups support reforming and reauthorizing the program and praised the senators for pushing for quick action.
"This strong, bipartisan support in the Senate underscores the sense of urgency for passing a long-term solution for the National Flood Insurance Program," Ben McKay, senior vice president of federal government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said in a press release. "Millions of American home and business owners rely on flood insurance in every state. This is not just a coastal concern."