Just in time for hurricane season, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The program, which allows property owners to purchase affordable coverage to protect against floods, was set to expire at the end of May. It’s the eleventh extension of the program since 2017.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored the bipartisan bill, said the action gives lawmakers time to work on a compromise for long-term funding.
The current extension bill is awaiting Senate action. If passed, it will head to President Donald Trump’s desk for action. The president signed the last extension in December 2018.
The program has been under financial stress in recent years due to powerful hurricanes, prompting lawmakers to investigate reform solutions to keep it alive. It’s currently about $20 billion in debt.
“The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be comprehensively reformed to make the program more fair, affordable, efficient and solvent,” U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) previously said.
The Trump administration has said it supports longer-term reforms.