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Senate strips flood insurance provision out of FAA reauthorization bill


The U.S. Senate stripped a provision to clarify that mortgage lenders could accept private flood insurance in lieu of federal coverage to satisfy the mandatory purchase requirement out of a must-pass bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration ahead of an expiration deadline.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the FAA reauthorization bill, which includes a provision that aims to increase acceptance of private flood insurance products by clarifying how nongovernment flood insurance policies can satisfy the federal flood insurance mandate for properties located in high-risk areas, by a 264-155 vote earlier in the day on Thursday.

But Senators Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, and John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, offered an ultimately approved amendment that removed the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act from the FAA reauthorization bill, so that provisions allowing for privatization of flood insurance could be included in comprehensive NFIP reform and reauthorization, according to a joint statement issued by the senators on Thursday.

“To protect homeowners, flood insurance must be addressed whole piece, not piecemeal,” Mr. Cassidy said in the statement. “I and the Senate are committed to protecting homeowners, which is why the amendment passed.” 

The flood language, commonly referred to this year as the Ross-Castor bill after sponsors Dennis Ross, R-Florida, and Kathy Castor, D-Florida, passed the House last year by a vote of 419-0 and was adopted by the House Financial Services Committee in June by a vote of 58-0.