CRISIS/FEMA/NATIONAL DEBT: “Tropical Storm Harvey leaves Congress with a pair of unexpected financial challenges: further shoring up a heavily indebted federal flood insurance program and providing emergency funding for uncovered damage.
Lawmakers will be under pressure when they return to Washington next week to extend the National Flood Insurance Program after the flooding disaster crippled coastal Texas and Louisiana.
The insurance program, created about 50 years ago because private insurers were unwilling to risk catastrophic flood losses, is scheduled to expire Sept. 30. It has a mere $1.7 billion to pay claims and $5.8 billion left that it can borrow from the Treasury, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which manages the program.
Congress likely will have to raise the program’s borrowing authority should claims exceed its current cap, these people said.
The contentious flood program went through 17 temporary extensions and four lapses during legislative disputes from 2008 to 2012.
Another issue lawmakers face is emergency aid to address damage that isn’t insured, a process that has been controversial on Capitol Hill in recent years. Many conservative Republicans opposed federal aid after superstorm Sandy slammed the East Coast in 2012.”

-Andrew Ackerman, Kristina Peterson, and Rachel Witkowski, “Tropical Storm Harvey Leaves Congress With a Pair of Financial Challenges,” The Wall Street Journal online, Aug. 28, 2017 06:05pm