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National Flood Insurance Program Languishes in Senate

While it’s probably pointless to say, “What is the Senate thinking?” you do have to wonder where their priorities are when yet again lawmakers have voted down legislation that included a provision to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. The House took care of that before Memorial Day.

And what are they worried about? The federal deficit. So we’re going to solve that problem by making sure that the Gulf Coast, which hasn’t recovered from Katrina, is economically withering from both the recession and the oil spill, and is facing the worst forecast hurricane season in years doesn’t get any help when the waters rise? Oh, yeah. Now that’s some solid fiscal responsibility.

Jimi Grande, the senior vice president for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies hit the nail on the head. “It’s been over two weeks since the National Flood Insurance Program was allowed to expire, and the program is still being held up because of unrelated issues. This lack of action by Congress is unacceptable, particularly when we’re in the first few weeks of the 2010 hurricane season.”

The storm season in the Atlantic began on June 1 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting 14 to 23 named storms with eight to 14 turning into full-fledged hurricanes. Three to seven of those will go Category 3 or higher. That means winds of more than 110 mph.

Grande added, “We cannot afford to have political disagreements get in the way of protecting millions of Americans from flood losses.” Nor can we ignore that a great deal of the storm surge this time is going to be laced with oil that will make the clean-up and recovery more complicated than anything that area has seen before.

It’s probably more fun for Congress to whup up on the British Petroleum leadership to get sound bites, but isn’t it more the Congressional job to actually be leaders?

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