State of the Union Congress (copy)

In this Jan. 21, 2018, photo, lights shine inside the U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

WASHINGTON — An overhaul of federal disaster policies, including provisions directly affecting homeowners and local governments hit by the 2016 Louisiana floods, easily cleared the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The changes were included in a largely unrelated bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal transportation programs. House members passed the package 398-23.

Among the provisions are changes to federal law that would allow flooded homeowners who took out Small Business Administration loans to also receive federally funded recovery grants.

The law would also ease penalties on public school districts that didn’t carry flood insurance on all their buildings, create an independent arbitration process for local governments to dispute FEMA funding and provide clearer rules for when FEMA pays for damage to submerged local roads.

Leaders from both parties struck a deal on the sprawling legislative package during the weekend. The bill is expected to clear the U.S. Senate.

Exactly when senators will vote on the package, however, was thrown into uncertainty this week. The FAA's authorization expires at midnight on Sunday and lawmakers had previously anticipated President Donald Trump signing the bill into law before then.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has put a vote on hold amid controversy over the Senate confirmation process for Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who faces contested allegations of sexual assault.

Senators are instead considering passing a short-term extension of the FAA on in order to buy the chamber time until Oct. 7, when a vote on the full package could come.

Despite the delay, lawmakers remained confident that the overhaul package has enough support to clear the Senate once it comes up for a vote. Senate sources told The Advocate that a final vote is now expected in the next two weeks.

Follow Bryn Stole on Twitter, @BrynStole.