Congress faces upcoming flood insurance vote

If you're in the construction industry, you know that you have to guard your sites against all manner of misfortune. One of those is flooding: even a small amount of water can set a project back or submarine it entirely, so any comprehensive commercial property insurance policy will take into account that possibility. Based on what happens in an upcoming Senate debate, that sort of assurance could soon be pricier.

By a significant margin, the Senate voted Monday to begin debate on a new piece of legislation. The contested bill would delay premium hikes for flood insurance by up to four years, a measure which could provide some financial relief to the contracting industry. The motion to discuss it further passed easily, with 86 Senators agreeing that there should be more discussion, far above the 60 threshold needed for talks to open.

The overwhelming margin could be seen as a good sign for the bill's potential to make it through Congress. However, the White House has made some indications that it is not fully on board with the proposed delay.

"Delaying implementation of these reforms would further erode the financial position of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is already $24 billion in debt," the Office of Management and Budget said on behalf of the White House. "This delay would also reduce FEMA's ability to pay future claims made by all policyholders."

Despite this pushback, the Senate will continue deliberation and could have its final vote as early as next Wednesday. If the new bill passes, it could mean serious savings, especially for those who build structures frequently.

 

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