WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2012 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the U.S. Senate for passing a 60 day extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by unanimous consent.
The 60 day extension legislation also contains one policy provision that would remove the subsidies granted to second homes and vacation homes by the NFIP. This provision was included in order to ensure the measure gained unanimous consent and is also a part of S. 1940, the “Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act,” which the Big “I” strongly supports. The House is set to return from their Memorial Day recess next week, at which point they will need to consider the 60 day extension as well to avoid an expiration of the program on May 31.
“The Big ‘I’ commends the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Reid and Sen. Vitter in particular, for their work in passing this 60 day extension in order to prevent an expiration of the NFIP,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “We also greatly appreciate the House’s action last week on a 30 day extension and urge them to quickly pass this 60 day version next week upon their return.”
Today’s passage of a 60 day extension by the Senate was made possible by an agreement reached between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on a plan for consideration of S. 1940, the “Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act.” Majority Leader Reid agreed to bring the bill up for consideration before the full Senate during the next work period. As part of the agreement, Sen. Vitter earlier withdrew a flood insurance amendment he was offering to a pending bill to reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration and Sen. Coburn agreed to allow the 60 day extension of the NFIP to pass by unanimous consent.
“Today’s actions in the Senate are very much appreciated,” says John Prible, Big “I” vice president for federal government affairs. “While the 60 day extension is just a temporary patch, this patch combined with the agreement reached on the Senate floor, opens the window to the possibility of finally getting the ‘Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act’ across the finish line.” Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.