The Senate bill to renew the federal flood insurance program is being jeopardized by a Republican senator who is insisting on an amendment to the bill that defines “when life begins,” Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D.-Nev., said today.
Reid said Republican senators are among the main supporters of the Senate flood bill and urged Republicans to get this unnamed member to drop the abortion-related amendment or, he vowed, the flood bill will not be voted on.
“The remaining issue is flood insurance. And we are doing fine on flood insurance except I’m told last night that one of the Republican senators wants to offer an amendment – listen to this one – wants to offer an amendment on when life begins. I think some of this stuff is just – I have been very patient working with my Republican colleagues in allowing relevant amendments on issues, and sometimes we even do non-relevant amendments.
“But, really, on flood insurance? Are we going to have to start dealing as we did with the highway bill for weeks and weeks with contraception? Now we have another person wants to deal with when life begins. I don’t understand what this is all about, but I want everyone to know this flood insurance bill is extremely important. The big pushers of this bill are Republican senators, veteran republican senators, and they had better work on their side of the aisle because I am not going to put up with that on the flood insurance. I can be condemned by outside sources. My friends can say let them have a vote on it. There will not be a vote on that on flood insurance.
“We’ll either do flood insurance with amendments dealing with flood insurance or we won’t do it. We’ll have an extension. After all the work that’s been put on this bill, this is ridiculous that somebody says I’m not going to let this bill go forward unless I have a vote on when life begins. I am not going to do that, and I think I speak for the majority of senators. Now, if the Republicans won’t stand up to the person that’s going to do that, I’m not going to. I have tried my best to deal with these issues that have nothing to do with the piece of legislation.”
The Senate bill would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years. It has bipartisan support and the backing of the White House.
The flood program is set to expire at the end of July if Congress does not renew it.