Jeb Hensarling

Congress May Need to Throw a Lifeline to Flood Insurance Program
Money running out because of season’s hurricanes

Homeowner James Wade removed damaged items on Wednesday as floodwaters from Hurricane Irma receded in Middleburg, Florida. Flooding in town from Black Creek topped the previous high water mark by about seven feet and water entered the second story of Wade's home. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Congress may have to act to prevent a federal flood insurance program that is already $24.6 billion in debt from running out of money because of flooding caused by this season’s hurricanes.

The National Flood Insurance Program is likely to lack sufficient funds to pay out all flood damage claims caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, according to estimates by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the program.

Why Most House Republicans Voted for a Deal They Loathed
Debt haters and defense hawks made up most no votes

Texas Rep. Pete Olson, seen here at a Wednesday press conference, was among the 21 of 25 Texas Republicans to vote for final passage of the Hurricane Harvey relief measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Republicans griped about the fiscal package they were forced to vote on Friday, but ultimately, a relatively small portion of the conference was willing to vote against it.

A little more than one-third of House Republicans voted against a package that would extend government funding and the debt ceiling for three months, while providing $15 billion in disaster relief aid, primarily to Texas and Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Floods May Focus Lawmakers on Insurance Program Deep in the Red
Program’s current funds probably not enough to cover claims

Residents are evacuated from their homes after severe flooding following Hurricane Harvey in north Houston August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Parts of southeast Texas have received more than 40 inches of rain since Harvey made landfall on Friday, with more torrential rain expected the next several days. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Hurricane Harvey, on track to cause some of  the worst flooding in U.S. history, stands to complicate efforts by Congress to reauthorize next month a federal flood insurance program that’s already about $24.6 billion in debt.

The Gulf Coast floods from Harvey, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls “one of the worst disasters in Texas history,” threatens to deepen the debt of the National Flood Insurance Program before the Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline. The program administered by FEMA provides flood coverage to more than 4.9 million policyholders, including 593,115 in Texas.

House Democrats Want to Use Minibus to Target Trump Ethics
Rules Committee likely to nix attempts to force issue

Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes says Democrats will use the tools at their disposal to force action on President Donald Trump's ethics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats this week are trying to hitch a slate of amendments to the appropriations minibus, all targeting the business, family members and scandals of President Donald Trump.

The amendments, offered in the Rules Committee, are part of the minority party’s larger effort to tie their Republican colleagues to Trump’s possible conflicts of interest stemming from his business holdings and the government’s probe of alleged collusion by Trump campaign officials with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.

Four House Committees to Vote on Trump Controversies
To include: Comey, taxpayer money to Trump and Trump International Hotel lease

Labor union groups join anti-Trump protesters outside of the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Protesters gathered outside of the hotel as Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a ribbon cutting ceremony inside to officially open the hotel for business in the Old Post Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Using an obscure tactic, House Democrats will force their GOP colleagues to take controversial committee votes this week over President Donald Trump’s business ties and the government’s widening Russia probe.

The votes also will deal with the firing of former FBI Director James B. Comey, taxpayer money to the Trump Organization and the government’s lease of the Old Post Office Building to the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

House Republicans Vote to Strip Away Post-Financial Crisis Safeguards
Bill isn’t expected to be taken up in the Senate

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling says that “all of the promises of Dodd-Frank were broken.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans voted 233-186 Thursday to repeal large parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, just one month short of the seventh anniversary of the landmark law’s enactment.

The measure would unwind much of the financial structure put in place in the wake of the financial crisis. One of the biggest pieces of legislation enacted during the two terms of President Barack Obama, Dodd-Frank was designed to prevent the type of practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the recession it caused. Republicans have long complained that the law stifled the economy because it put too large a regulatory burden on business.

GOP Leaders on Flood Insurance Bill See Bipartisan Measure
Lawmakers working to beat Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline

Wisconsin Rep. Sean P. Duffy hopes to get bipartisan support for a reauthorization of the flood insurance program.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Both Democrats and Republicans cited concern about hurting low-income homeowners in legislation that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, but they also agreed that the program, with a current debt of $24.6 billion, needs to be on sounder financial ground.

Lawmakers are working to beat the expiration of the current authorization on Sept. 30. Without new authorization in place, housing markets in coastal and flood-prone areas could be disrupted.

Dodd-Frank Repeal Set Up for House Passage
Rules Committee allows only five amendments

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., is not a big fan of the Dodd-Frank repeal bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A massive bill to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial law and allow better-capitalized banks to opt out of much of government regulation is heading to the House floor for a final vote on passage that is expected Thursday.

Over Democratic objections, the House Rules Committee on Tuesday allowed only five amendments that appeared to be uncontroversial plus a manager’s amendment to be considered, and it declined to allow a hearing for a proposal to reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act.

Dodd-Frank Repeal Bill is Target of Contentious Amendments
Republicans likely to support a few of them on the floor

Rep. Jeb Hensarling has long targeted the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill for repeal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s Dodd-Frank repeal bill heads to the House floor this week, it will be the target of controversial amendments, including a couple that some Republicans are likely to support.

By late Monday, 16 amendments had been filed on the bill, which is scheduled for the House Rules Committee Tuesday evening.

House Schedules Dodd-Frank Repeal for Floor Vote
Legislation failed to get floor vote in previous congress

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his GOP caucus are ready to go on repealing the Dodd-Frank law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican plan to roll back the most expansive financial regulatory overhaul since the Depression is headed to a full vote in the House this week.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday that he has scheduled debate and a floor vote on a bill that would repeal large parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul. The law was enacted in the wake of the financial crisis and the recession and was meant to prevent the practices that led to the crisis.