FEMA notified insurers that it was rescinding its earlier guidance issued during Christmas week to suspend the selling of flood policies. After facing bipartisan backlash for suspending the program during the ongoing partial government shut-down, FEMA issued new guidance allowing for flood policies to be sold. President Trump and the White House Office of Management and Budget was involved to reverse FEMA’s earlier decision.
The decision to terminate underwriting new flood policies this week forced many home closings to postpone. The action by FEMA also threatened hundreds of thousands of homeowners who were facing flood insurance renewal through the NFIP program.
President Trump cancelled his Christmas vacation to Florida to remain at the White House to work on resolving the government shutdown stalemate. New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Washington, DC to vacation in Hawaii on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast. A new deal to re-open the government can’t happen until Pelosi returns to DC.
“FEMA’s initial NFIP guidance made no sense, and I’m happy to announce they are heeding my direction and will start selling new flood insurance policies again. It’s unfortunate so many people were inconvenienced due to FEMA’s error, but I’m glad they are correcting it so home sales in limbo can proceed,” Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) said. “Now if only Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other Washington Democrats will also listen to common sense, we can pass a bill to secure the border and end this partial government shutdown.”
While the flood insurance program has returned, the shutdown continues to impact the weather world. Meteorologists with NOAA’s National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center were forced to cancel holiday vacations and sick leave and return to work, where all are working without pay.