Members consider best way to stop big flood insurance hikes
A strategy is evolving among a multi-state and bipartisan group of House members intent on blocking large increases in flood insurance premiums for their constituents.
Their hope is to draft legislation in the next several weeks that would delay rate increases until two years after FEMA, which administers the program, completes an affordability study, according to Hill staffers. Lawmakers don't expect the study to be complete for another two years - potentially meaning a delay of four years.
By that point, the coalition hopes the 2012 law, which led to the higher than anticipated rate increases for thousands of policyholders, can be revamped.
The strategy is evolving with help from Rep. Maxine, Waters, D-Calif., one of the original authors of the 2012 flood insurance legislation that led to a doubling, tripling, and even 10-fold hikes in premiums for some policyholders.
"When I agreed to coauthor this legislation, our goal was to create a bipartisan solution to repair our National Flood Insurance Program," Waters said recently. "Neither Democrats nor Republicans envisioned it would reap the kind of harm and heartache that may result from this law going into effect."
One challenge will be to find must-pass legislation that a bill averting huge premium increases can be added to, and also dealing with offsets to cover a potential loss in revenue resulting from lower premiums being paid into the flood insurance program.
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