Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., possibly as well as other senators, has placed a hold on a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program, and lenders are worried that Congress may miss a June 30 deadline to pass the bill and prevent a shutdown of the flood insurance program.The Senate Banking Committee passed the NFIP extension bill (S. 2238) in March. But recent efforts to get the full Senate to vote on the bill have been held up by Sen. Landrieu. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., recently released a hold on the bill. The Senate bill and a House-passed flood insurance bill are designed to reduce the cost of insurance claims on properties that are repeatedly hit by floods. Homeowners who refuse federal buyouts or other forms of assistance to shore up, elevate, or move their properties will see their flood insurance premiums increase. Louisiana has one of the highest incidents of repetitive flood claims, according to Sen. Landrieu's press secretary, Gina Farrell. "The senator just wants to completely understand what is going to happen to the people of Louisiana once this bill goes through," she said. "We are certainly trying to get through this as quickly as we can." Meanwhile, lender groups are reminding Senate leaders that the NFIP is the primary source of flood insurance. "Time is of the essence because the program will shut down on June 30th," six trade groups say in a May 17 letter.

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