Thursday, November 17, 2005

Flood Insurance Payments Halted; FEMA Tapped Out

Has not the famous political Fable of the Snake, with two Heads and one Body, some useful Instruction contained in it? She was going to a Brook to drink, and in her Way was to pass thro’ a Hedge, a Twig of which opposed her direct Course; one Head chose to go on the right side of the Twig, the other on the left, so that time was spent in the Contest, and, before the Decision was completed, the poor Snake died with thirst.
-- Benjamin Franklin on Congress, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1907 ed.)
USA Today, the flagship newspaper of Gannett, reported yesterday that FEMA has ordered "the 96 insurance companies that sell flood policies to stop payments to policyholders until Congress says the agency can borrow more money."

According to the paper, this is "the first time since the flood insurance program began in 1968 that FEMA has taken this action."

The news also can be found in today's the print edition of the Pensacola News Journal, but not (yet?) on its web site.

Authorization to allow FEMA to borrow an additional $8.5 billion cleared the House of Representatives yesterday. It now has to be approved by the Senate and signed by the president.

With the long Thanksgiving weekend approaching, insurance claim payments likely won't resume until next week.

Happy holidays, flood victims!

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