Senate Passes Alexander Proposal to Extend Flood Insurance Program to Thousands of Tennesseans Affected by Flood

Senate also extends deadline to qualify for homebuyer’s tax credit

Posted on June 30, 2010

WASHINGTON—Tonight, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced that the Senate passed legislation to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through September 30, 2010 – without adding to the nation’s federal debt – allowing Tennesseans affected by the flood to get flood insurance.  Authority for the program expired June 1st. Senator Alexander cosponsored similar legislation that he tried to pass on the Senate floor last week, which Senate Democrats rejected. He joined Senator Vitter in insisting that the Senate pass this flood-insurance extension tonight, and made the following statement upon its passage:

“Tennesseans, who are recovering from the worst natural disaster since President Obama took office and have been waiting for a month for Congress to act, will now be able to get flood insurance as a result of this bill, which means they can get their loans and open their businesses again. This is good news for Tennesse homeowners and small business owners who are struggling to put their lives back together after the May flood.”

The legislation (H.R. 5569) the Senate passed tonight extends the same authority as the Vitter-Alexander bill (S. 3347) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue: (1) new flood insurance contracts, (2) renewal contracts for those that are expiring, and (3) changes to current contracts.

Alexander said this legislation will be particularly helpful for small businesses hit by the flood that cannot receive loans from the Small Business Administration until they have proof of flood insurance, and for potential homeowners who need the insurance to obtain a mortgage.

The legislation passed tonight also includes an extension of the closing date to qualify for the homebuyer’s tax credit from June 30, 2010, to September 30, 2010. Alexander said this will help Tennesseans whose homes were under contract by April 30, 2010, the sales of which were delayed by the flood, by allowing them to still take advantage of the up to $8,000 tax credit.