FEMA ends halt on flood insurance policies during shutdown

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has resumed selling and renewing flood insurance policies during the government shutdown following pressure from lawmakers and the banking industry.

“As of this evening, all [National Flood Insurance Program] insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since December 21, 2018 without interruption,” FEMA said in a statement on Dec. 28.

The announcement rescinded FEMA's earlier guidance issued last week to industry partners to suspend sales operations as a result of the current lapse in funding from Congress.

FEMA faced backlash from lawmakers, including incoming House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and industry groups when it announced it would not issue or renew flood insurance policies during the government shutdown. Congress had voted earlier this month to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through May 31, 2019.

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Flood insurance Policymaking Government shutdown Maxine Waters FEMA