House schedules vote to delay flood insurance premium hikes

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The US House of Representatives will vote later this month on new flood insurance legislation to address the increases in many premiums mandated under the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform law.

Details of the new legislation will be released next week. The vote is scheduled for the week of Feb. 24, and the bill will be unable to be amended on the floor and will require two-thirds approval for passage.

According to a press release from U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, the new legislation will permanently remove the home sale rate increase trigger for homeowners looking to sell.

“To say reaching this point wasn’t a Herculean battle would be an understatement, but it was achieved by the united bipartisan effort on behalf of the millions of homeowners affected, including thousands living in South Jersey. While the new legislation may not be what we all wanted or what I introduced last year, this is the best compromise possible for a great majority of homeowners facing the real threat of excessive increases,” LoBiondo said. “I deeply appreciate the partnership of Bill and Jon throughout this flood insurance fix and the Sandy aid funding fight. I am especially thankful of majority leader (Eric) Cantor’s determination and commitment to finding a result to this national problem.”

Earlier this month, the US Senate approved a bill that would delay the insurance premium increases mandated in Biggert-Waters. It is unclear exactly how the two bills differ. However, a statement from Cantor Wednesday, Feb. 12 indicates various differences.

“The House will consider a modified version of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act the week of Feb. 24. I thank Reps. Michael Grimm, Bill Cassidy, Steve Scalise, Shelley Moore Capito, Richard Nugent, Gus Bilirakis, Steven Palazzo, Frank LoBiondo, Mario Diaz-Balart, Vern Buchanan and Dennis Ross for their hard work and leadership on this important issue,” Cantor said.

“The Senate bill irresponsibly removes much needed reforms and imposes additional costs on taxpayers. The House will act to protect the flood insurance program but also protect homeowners from unreasonable and unrealistic premium increases.”

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