A Reckless Senate Ignores Its Hurricane Season Responsibilities
Hurricane season opened June 1, just as it does every year. And it will be with us through Nov. 30, just as it is every year. The Senate left for its Memorial Day recess, as did the House, on May 31. They do this every year, too. So we could conclude all is right with the world, or at least it's on schedule. All is not right, though. What do hurricane season and the congressional calendar have in common? More than you think, at least this year.
The National Flood Insurance Program expired at 12:01 on June 1 after Congress left town for the Memorial Day recess without acting on legislation that would extend the program. While the House passed H.R. 4213, which contains an NFIP authorization through Dec. 31, 2010, senators donned their sunglasses, flip-flops and deck shoes, and then went on holiday. Meanwhile, millions of would-be home and business owners cannot close on their loans without this coverage, stalling their moves and possibly delaying employment for those waiting to go to work for these businesses. If the economic and housing market recoveries weren't fragile enough, they were made more so by this thoughtless inaction.