National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010

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U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) announced that the Senate extended the National Flood Insurance Program late Wednesday. The Senate passed a bill Hinojosa co-sponsored, H.R. 5569, the “National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010.”

It extends the National Flood Insurance Program through Sept. 30, 2010, and makes the reauthorization of the program retroactive to May 31, 2010, thereby making it possible to purchase flood insurance; renew existing flood insurance policies; increase flood insurance coverage; and honor policies negotiated during the time the program lapsed. The legislation will now be sent to the president and signed into law. Hurricane Alex is pounding areas of Hinojosa’s district along the U.S.-Mexico border. It is the strongest June hurricane since Alma in 1966. The biggest concern with Alex is the heavy rain flooding areas of Hinojosa’s district.

“Recently, I asked my constituents and all U.S. citizens to telephone, e-mail or fax their U.S. senators urging them to extend the National Flood Insurance Program by passing H.R. 5569, the ‘National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010,’ legislation I co-sponsored and the House passed last week, said Rep. Hinojosa. “Last night, the Senate heeded my call and extended the National Flood Insurance Program. It is unfortunate the U.S. Senate failed to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program sooner. Hurricane Alex is flooding my district.”

The Senate held hostage a bill extending the National Flood Insurance Program through Dec. 31, 2010, as part of H.R. 4213, the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” commonly referred to as the “Tax Extenders of 2010. Section 601 of the third and final tax extenders substitute to H.R. 4213, authored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus, would have extended the National Flood Insurance Program through Dec. 31, 2010, retroactive to May 31, 2010, when the National Flood Insurance Program lapsed. Nearly 20,000 communities nationwide would have benefited from Section 601 of the tax extenders bill voted down by the U.S. Senate on numerous occasions.

“I would have preferred the U.S. Senate extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Dec. 31, 2010, or as far into the future as May 31, 2011.” said Rep. Hinojosa. “This would give the housing and flood insurance markets time to recover from the recent economic crisis. However, I welcome the U.S. Senate’s action and look forward to the president signing the bill into law. I will continue to press for a longer extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through the remainder of the calendar year and potentially well into 2011.”

Now that the National Flood Insurance Program has been extended, real estate deals can close and people who bought homes as of April 30, 2010, will be able to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. Tuesday, the House passed legislation extending the tax credit through Sept. 30, 2010.

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