The imminent arrival of the storm season is a reminder that Congress has failed for nearly two years to pass a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, to the detriment of millions of vulnerable homeowners in Florida and across the country.
Earlier this month, thanks to the urging of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and scores of other members of Congress from flood-prone areas, lawmakers passed and sent to President Obama a short-term fix that expires on May 31 -- precisely on the eve of the hurricane season.
Here's an idea: Stop fooling around with short-term extensions and pass a pending NFIP reform bill with a five-year authorization. That way, potential homebuyers and sellers would not be left in the lurch -- unable to close a deal for lack of insurance -- every time an extension expires and Congress takes its sweet time before acting to revive it.
That's what happened for nearly three weeks beginning on March 28, when legislators went on recess and the previous extension died out. During that period, thousands of other homeowners were unable to obtain flood coverage because the NFIP program had not been renewed.
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