The House and the Senate have passed a bill that provides additional borrowing authority for the insolvent federal flood insurance program so it can resume paying claims to homeowners with flood-damaged homes.The National Flood Insurance Program exhausted its existing $3.5 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury due to recent hurricanes and suspended paying claims during the week of Nov. 7. The NFIP funding bill (H.R. 4133), approved by Congress on Nov. 18, provides $15 billion in additional borrowing authority, which should keep the flood insurance program up and running into February. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the NFIP, estimated that 225,000 policyholders will file $22 billion in flood insurance claims due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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