"If it were to expire, new housing construction would stall, in fact in many places it would come to a halt," Reid said on the floor. "Real estate transactions would come to a screaming halt. Taxpayers would be on the hook for future disasters. This is something we have no choice, we have to get it done."
"Anyone has anything to say about this, you can put it in the record," Reid said with a smile just before the vote.
Reid thanked Johnson and Banking Committee ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) for working on the issue, as well as Sens. Jon TesterJon TesterDem senator to appear with Romney: report Battle begins over Wall Street rules Dems hunt for a win in Montana special election MORE (D-Mont.), David VitterDavid VitterFormer senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry Former GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel Lobbying World MORE (R-La.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (R-Okla.) and Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerReagan's 'voodoo economics' are precisely what America needs When political opportunity knocked, Jason Chaffetz never failed to cash in Yes, blame Obama for the sorry state of the Democratic Party MORE (R-N.Y.).
The House has already passed a 5-year extension of the NFIP, the federal program that offers the only flood insurance available to thousands of communities around the country that sit on flood plains. The House bill includes several reforms aimed at helping the NFIP work down the nearly $18 billion in debt it has racked up, including by increasing insurance premiums.
Coburn has sought to include similar reforms in the Senate bill, but the Senate was unable to work out an agreement on the longer-term bill by the end of May.
The House last week approved a 30-day extension, but is likely to accept the Senate bill next week, since the Senate will be out and the NFIP program expires next Thursday.