S. 2039, the bill allowing permanent levees to be built on deed restricted land acquired through FEMA mitigation programs in the State of North Dakota, was defeated Monday evening (July 23, 2012). While the bill itself only applied to North Dakota, it would have set a dangerous precedence for the rest of the country. On a roll call vote, it was defeated by a 2-1 margin. A coalition of 30 national organizations, representing environmental groups, taxpayer groups, and the professionals in the field (ASFPM), made a persuasive argument that was heard loudly by a broad cross-section of House members. Representatives Blumenauer (OR) and Carnahan (MO) made floor statements opposing the bill.
It is unclear where the bill will go from here, but the bill will have to go through the normal legislative process in the House, which includes committee hearings and votes. In other words, at the very least, the bill would have to be discussed and debated on its merits. Tracking history is available here.
Further background on how ASFPM has engaged in this issue is available here and here.