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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, February 13, 2014

House to vote on Flood Insurance Affordability Act

By Stephanie K. Mann, J.D.

As of Feb. 12, 2014, the majority of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, a bipartisan, bicameral flood relief legislation that would delay unaffordable flood insurance premiums. The bill was recently passed by the Senate by a vote of 67-32 (see Jan. 30, 2014, issue of Banking and Finance Law Daily).

The bill would delay by four years flood insurance rate hikes due to issues with the Flood Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps and require FEMA to complete its affordability study. 

Obstruction. According to Rep. Maxine Waters (R-Calif), the bill has been unable to pass due to significant obstruction from the Republican leadership, despite the overwhelming bipartisan support. “The reality is this: if not for obstruction by Republican leadership, this bill could pass the House and be signed into law today,” said Waters. “I again urge Republican leadership to immediately take up this bipartisan solution.”

Critical issue. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla) said, “I have been continually calling on Congress to act on this critical issue, which has a major impact on homeowners across the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast, and have been very frustrated by the House’s inaction on this common sense measure that has clear bipartisan support.” He continued saying, “With a majority of House Members as cosponsors, I hope that House Leadership will finally allow a vote on this flood insurance fix.”

Cleared vote. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) announced that House leadership has cleared the way for a vote on an amended version of the flood insurance reform legislation. “I couldn’t be more proud to deliver on such an important national and local issue like fixing the skyrocketing premiums of the [National Flood Insurance Program],” said Grimm. “Without this crucial legislation, many hardworking families in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and throughout the U.S. will be forced out of their homes, foreclosures will sharply rise, and closings will continue to be canceled, preventing the sale of many homes and ultimately devaluing the recovering, yet still fragile real estate market.”

MainStory: TopStory FloodInsurance

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