The torrential rains sweeping through the Midwest are spurring new debate on Capitol Hill about the nation's flood insurance program and may lead to tougher requirements, including a provision allowing lenders to force-place coverage after loan origination.

The main focus of attention is H.R. 62, the National Flood Insurance, Mitigation and Erosion Management Act of 1993. introduced by Rep. Doug Bereuter, R-Neb. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are uneasy about the lack of a provision within the bill. They want the legislative - or any future legislation - to require lenders to "force-place," or mandate, coverage in locations remapped as flood hazard areas after loan origination.

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