Temporary extension for NFIP supported

The American Press

Flood Insurance

When it comes to the National Flood Insurance Program, Congress can’t seem to get its act together. The debt-ridden NFIP expires at the end of this month, but Congress is expected to extend it for a four-month period to protect policyholders during the hurricane season.

Nothing happens quickly in Congress, and another brief extension will probably be approved when the November deadline arrives. Congress forgave $16 billion in debt the NFIP owed to the U.S. Treasury in October in order to free up credit so the program could continue paying claims.

Flood insurance is critical to Louisiana homeowners, and their congressmen are at the forefront of trying to protect their interests. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, is pushing a vote this week on the temporary extension and the state’s two Republicans, U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, are buttonholing their colleagues to support the extension.

Disagreements about how to fix the NFIP are holding up a permanent solution. The Advocate said retiring U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants to shrink the program, eliminate subsidies for some high risk homeowners and do aggressive rate hikes on properties that flood often.

Louisiana’s lawmakers take a different view. They want more negotiations rather than making concessions without getting anything in return. The changes Hensarling wants to make would mean high premium increases for many south Louisiana homeowners and could exclude others from the program.

Scalise said, “We’re trying to find a way to get a longer term renewal of the program. But in the meantime, I’m committed to making sure the program doesn’t expire.” No new policies can be issued during a lapse and those with expiring policies could face difficulties renewing their coverage.

The temporary extension would also free members of Congress to campaign for the November midterm elections, which is always their No. 1 concern. Much of their time in office is already spent trying to raise campaign funds.

A long-term solution to the tremendous debt incurred by the NFIP is going to require both sides in this controversial issue to make some of those concessions they have avoided for much too long. A permanent solution can’t come too soon.

Local News

Texas man dies when Peterbilt crashes

Business

Business, industry thought leaders George Swift and Daniel Groft optimistic about future of SW La.

Informer

The Informer: Mowing pad being created for cable barrier along I-210

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:A busy November in 1966

Crime

Civil rights attorney: Charges in newspaper attack should have been upgraded to hate crime, attempted murder

Local News

Welsh High’s LEAP scores among top in state

life

A grave task: Helping hands clean up, beautify historic Bilbo Cemetery

life

VIDEO: Volunteer work day to beautify Bilbo Cemetery

Crime

8/13: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Lake Charles’ Got Talent: Today’s event pairs local celebrities with Barbe Bluebelles

Local News

Tropical cyclone development remains low across western Gulf

Local News

Portion of La. in Lake Arthur renamed in honor of Fox

Local News

Unrestrained passenger killed in single-vehicle crash

Local News

La. abortion ban holds in court once again

Crime

UPDATE: Husband, wife both charged with molestation, cruelty

life

Classes back in session: Lake Charles Charter begins 12th year

Crime

UPDATE: Reward offered in Oakdale homicide

life

Gerald Sims: A neighborly neighbor that others can count on

Crime

One arrested, one sought in molestation case

Local News

Two Police Jury buildings closed due to water main break

Local News

La. continues to average 1,500-3,000 COVID cases daily

Crime

Nephew arrested after fight with uncle

Local News

Drink and Draw: CYPHACON social event allows ‘like-minded geeks’ to gather, have fun

Local News

Fort Polk name change could cost $1.4M