A vote in the House of Representatives on a bill to hold down increases in flood insurance premiums now is expected next week, Republican House Speaker John Boehner told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., originally scheduled the vote for Wednesday or Thursday this week. Boehner didn’t spell out why the legislation was delayed. But there are indications that he doesn’t have the votes he needs to get it passed.
Rep. Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, has been among those working to get the legislation through the House. The bill is an attempt to spare home owners the higher flood insurance rates brought on by the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act. That law, which had bipartisan support, was intended to have home owners insurance rates reflect the true risk of flood. Home owners along the Carolina coast were among many policy holders upset with the rate increases.
The Senate passed a bill on Jan 30 to delay the premium increases for four years.
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The bill now in the House would permanently ensure that there would not be a rate increase when a primary residence was sold. It also would prevent rate increases when the Federal Emergency Management Agency updates its flood risk maps. And it would provide refunds to people who bought homes after the law went into effect. It also puts a surcharge of $25 per year on primary-residence policies and about $250 per year on businesses and other policies.