Rep. Gene Taylor’s relentless two-year campaign to secure wind coverage as part of the federal flood insurance program is on the verge of failure, a victim of vicious opposition in the Senate, of suspicions about a new government program and ultimately, of bad timing.
“It looks like there will be an extension of the present program,” said Taylor, D-Bay St. Louis, in an interview. The National Flood Insurance Program expires Sept. 30 unless Congress acts and lawmakers, anxious to help victims of hurricanes Ike and Gustav, are looking for a simple extension – with no policy changes – while they focus on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
Congress is set to adjourn Friday for the elections and House and Senate conferees trying to work out differences in the differing flood insurance bills passed by each chamber are not close to agreement – especially on wind coverage.
“I’m still hopeful we can get a deal, but with the remainder of the schedule likely to be consumed by the problems facing our nation’s financial system, the flood insurance program may be extended into next year without the multiple-peril provision Rep. Taylor and I worked to include,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
Wicker said he would continue to work on a solution and Taylor was resigned to having to start again next year.