NU Online News Service, April 7, 2:21 p.m. EDT
A panel of the House Financial Services Committee late Wednesday passed legislation that would keep the National Flood Insurance Program in operation until Sept. 2016.
As a new wrinkle, the bill mandates that both FEMA and Government Accountability Office assess a “broad range” of options for privatization of the program “over time,” and to report back within a year.
Earlier this month, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate raised concerns about the NFIP, stating that the cost of subsidies in the current program—given mainly to ease costs for people brought into the program under recently updated flood maps—is reducing annual premium income by one-third. He said these subsidies make it unlikely that the NFIP will ever be able to pay off its debts.