As a federal flood aid program nears its latest sunset date, one U.S. Senator is issuing a familiar call.
Senator John Kennedy is drafting legislation to fund the National Flood Insurance Program for another six months. The program is currently set to expire Nov. 30.
“Once again, the United States Congress has dropped the ball,” Kennedy told reporters this week. “We’ve made no progress.”
The Louisiana Republican said failure to act would strip many homeowners from their only source of flood insurance, causing home sales to stall. More than 500,000 Louisianans — and roughly five million Americans in all — rely on the program.
“Let us be senators,” Kennedy said. “Let us have an instrument that we can amend, that we can take away from, that we can vote on. Let’s see what actually comes out.”
Passing the legislation would mark the eighth short-term extension of the debt-riddled program. The NFIP remains roughly $21 billion in the red. Kennedy said while he would like more long-term reforms to tackle the deficit, the flood program must first stay afloat.
“I don’t want to see it expire one minute, one nanosecond,” he said.
The fate of Kennedy’s bill will likely hinge on the Senate Banking Committee, as Capitol Hill continues its rush of a lame-duck session.