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After veto threat, Trump signs spending bill to extend NFIP to July 31

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President Donald Trump signed an omnibus spending bill on Friday to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year and extend the National Flood Insurance Program through July 31 despite threatening to veto the bill earlier in the day.

The U.S. Senate passed the $1.3 trillion spending bill by a 65-32 vote on Thursday evening while the House of Representatives approved the bill earlier in the day by a 256-167 vote. But President Trump tweeted on Friday morning that he was considering a veto of the omnibus spending bill because it does not address the immigration status of more than 800,000 individuals brought into the United States as minors nor does it fully fund the president’s border wall.

However, the president held a news conference on Friday afternoon to announce that he signed the bill despite his objections to the lack of resolution on the immigration issue and his border security concerns while also saying no one was “more disappointed than me” over the size of the omnibus package.  

“I looked very seriously at the veto,” he said. “I was thinking about doing the veto, but because of the incredible gains that we’ve been able to make for the military, that overrode any of our thinking.”

The NFIP is scheduled to expire on Friday and has already briefly lapsed twice in 2018.

In January, the NFIP received a reprieve when it was retroactively reauthorized as part of a resolution to reopen the federal government, but even the brief lapse highlighted the significant consequences for risk managers of the program’s expiration.

In February, the NFIP was extended to March 23 as part of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

Prior to the president’s tweet, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents sent a statement welcoming the extension included in the omnibus bill, but also expressing alarm that Congress decided to decouple the NFIP, meaning separate it, from the funding of the federal government. The program will now expire July 31, rather than continue to Sept. 30, along with the rest of the omnibus.  

“In the absence of a must-pass legislative vehicle to which it can be attached, the program will now be in danger of expiring for an extended period during hurricane season, putting millions of flood insurance policyholders at risk,” Jon Gentile, PIA’s national vice president of government relations, said in the Thursday statement. “In the wake of the devastating 2017 hurricanes, Congress should take no chances with the homes and businesses of policyholders.”