Toward the end of last year, President Bush signed legislationallowing the National Flood Insurance Program to borrow up to $18.5billion to settle flood insurance claims resulting from the 2005hurricane season.

“FEMA and the NFIP have a legal, ethical, and moral obligationto ensure that every one of our policyholders with a covered damageclaim is paid as quickly as possible,” said David I. Maurstad,acting national flood insurance administrator and acting directorof FEMA's Mitigation Division. “This additional authorization willallow us and our partners to continue living up to our part of thecontracts we hold with our customers. In the coming weeks, FEMAwill continue to work with lawmakers on securing additionalborrowing authority, if needed, and will work with Congress asdiscussions continue to strengthen the flood insuranceprogram.”

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