Funding for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a continuing subsidy for premiums under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) hang in limbo as legislators in both houses craft legislation.

COBRA extensions were absent from a tax bill unveiled Wednesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). The 65% COBRA premium subsidy for laid-off workers ended May 31. An amendment offered by Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) seeks to extend the subsidy to employees laid off through Nov. 30, but is deemed unlikely to pass.

The picture is not any rosier on the flood insurance front. The NFIP lapsed on May 31, meaning flood insurers have been unable to issue or renew policies or pay claims since then. A bill that included a temporary extension of the program failed to advance in the Senate on Wednesday. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) sent a letter to congressional leaders last week urging them to reinstate the program.

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