House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on compromise legislation to reform the National Flood Insurance Program and reauthorize it for five years--a deal that has broad support from financial services, taxpayer, and environmental groups, according to congressional aides.
The plan is to use flood-insurance reform as an offset to help pay for part of a combined package of highway reauthorization and student-loan rate-freeze legislation that lawmakers in both chambers hope to complete this week and send to the president's desk before Congress adjourns for the July 4 recess.
The situation is fluid, because the Senate would still need to reach an agreement to take up the package, and a core group of lawmakers, led by Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., took to the floor on Wednesday to argue for a floor debate with consideration of amendments on flood insurance instead.
Pryor told National Journal that if his amendment is not included in the flood bill, "I would not agree to unanimous consent" to take up the package.
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