In a Win for NAHB, Congress Extends Funding for NFIP
With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and federal government 48 hours away from a funding lapse, House and Senate lawmakers acted in a bipartisan manner to fund the operations of the federal government, including the NFIP, through early next year.
NAHB has been at the forefront in working with lawmakers to find a solution that would not let the NFIP lapse and force the government to shutter its doors. The continuation of the NFIP is an important victory for NAHB and members of the residential construction industry who rely on this program to provide certainty and predictability for the flood protection and mitigation strategies for which it was designed.
As Congress debated on whether to fund a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown, NAHB made it perfectly clear to lawmakers that what the housing market needs now is stability and certainty. We sent a strong message that uncertainty over whether the NFIP will lapse, coupled with the growing possibility of a government shutdown, would have a significant negative economic effect on home builders, home buyers, multifamily developers and renters.
Congress heeded our concerns and moved to pass legislation that will fund all federal agencies in two tranches at current levels. Funding for certain agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be extended until Jan. 19 while most other agencies and the NFIP will be funded at 2023 levels through Feb. 2.
Congress took this approach to allow as much time as possible for the House and Senate to pass and negotiate full-year spending bills and to avert a massive year-end omnibus bill that packages many of the smaller ordinary appropriations bills into one larger single bill.
Fight Continues for Job Corps
House lawmakers have yet to approve the fiscal year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. In its current form, the spending bill completely eliminates funding for the Job Corps program. The Senate fiscal 2024 Labor-HHS spending bill retains funding for Job Corps at its 2023 level of $1.7 billion.
In the House, NAHB championed an amendment offered by Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) and Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) that would restore and fully fund the Job Corps program. Unfortunately, the House ruled the amendment was not in order and failed to vote on the proposal.
With no Job Corps funding, NAHB immediately pivoted and called for the House to oppose the Labor-HHS spending bill. Thanks in large part to our efforts, the House has failed to approve this appropriations bill.
As a result of the continuing resolution passed by Congress, Job Corps funding will continue at its current 2023 level until Feb. 2. Between now and then, NAHB will work tirelessly with House lawmakers to restore complete funding for Job Corps and oppose any efforts to pass the Labor-HHS spending bill until lawmakers satisfactorily resolve this issue.
And as the entire appropriations process moves forward with other relevant government agencies, including HUD, NAHB will continue to monitor developments closely and weigh in as appropriate.