As Discussions Continue on Flood Insurance, No Deal Yet
As Republicans in the House of Representatives release legislation intended to address dramatic flood insurance premium increases, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), a leader of the effort to stop the problem, expressed her concerns with the legislation as currently written.
“Although there have been productive conversations with Republican leadership, I still have significant concerns that the measure will not provide the necessary relief to those facing skyrocketing flood insurance premiums,” said Waters. “Over the next several days, I will continue active discussions with Republican leadership, FEMA, the bill’s authors and members of the U.S. Senate. I look forward to working with them to ensure this legislation is written in a manner that provides the assistance so badly needed by our nation’s homeowners. If it still falls short, I will continue to press for consideration of the bipartisan legislation now supported by an overwhelming majority of 235 House members.”
Late Friday night, Republican leaders placed flood insurance legislation on the House calendar for consideration as soon as this week. The bill bears the same number and title as the bipartisan, bicameral legislation that has the support of a majority of House members. However, the new bill takes a significantly different approach.
The measure repeals provisions of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 known as Section 207, which would raise flood insurance rates on policyholders who are “grandfathered” into rates below actuarial value. The measure also abolishes certain types of triggers for dramatic rate increases – such as the sale of a home or a lapse in coverage.
However, the legislation also contains provisions that, as currently written, may not guarantee the affordability of flood insurance for many policyholders.
Over the weekend, Waters sought clarification from FEMA on the way this legislation would impact policyholders. As the leader of a broad coalition of lawmakers seeking to solve the problem, she remains in discussions with members of the House and Senate, in an effort to broker a deal that will definitively provide relief for homeowners, and can win Congressional approval.