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Two key U.S. Republicans agree on national flood insurance

WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Two senior U.S. House of Representatives Republicans said on Friday they have agreed on terms for the reauthorization of the deeply indebted National Flood Insurance Program.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas said in a statement: “The bill we support will begin to make the flood insurance program more stable and sustainable for the people who count on it. We look forward to bringing this legislation to the House soon and urge our colleagues to support it.”

They did not provide any details of the agreement.

Lawmakers are wrestling with how to handle the flood insurance program’s expiration on Dec. 8. It is at least $24.6 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury and likely to face billions of dollars in additional costs due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck Texas and Florida in recent weeks.

The program was extended 17 times between 2008 and 2012 and lapsed four times in that period. A 2012 law extended the program to September.

In October the House and Senate approved $16 billion of funding to help the program cover claims from recent natural disasters after reaching its borrowing limit. (Reporting by Chris Sanders; Editing by Sandra Maler and David Gregorio)

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