Homeowners living in flood-prone areas could soon lose their insurance if Congress does not act fast.
The National Flood Insurance Program expires on July 31.
The House passed legislation Wednesday afternoon to extend the program for four more months, enough to get through hurricane season. However, the Senate needs to pass a similar measure to keep the program from lapsing.
If Congress does not renew the program, residents could be forced to buy private flood insurance, which is often much more costly.
About 1.7 million homeowners could be affected in the United States. It could also have a big impact on Florida’s real estate market since buyers won’t be able to secure flood insurance, real estate transactions could be put on hold.
The National Flood Insurance Program is now $36 billion in debt, and while members of Congress want to reform it, they keep running out of time.
Members of the Senate are expected to vote this week to extend the program for the seventh time. The four-month extension means Congress will have to keep looking for a long-term solution, but it will at least ensure homeowners are covered through the end of hurricane season.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted his support to renew the program saying, "We need to get this done ASAP."
National Flood Insurance program expires in less than a week. This program is badly in need of reform, but letting it expire in the meantime would leave millions of people vulnerable to financial catastrophe smack in the middle of hurricane season. We need to get this done ASAP.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 25, 2018