As was predicted, the United States Senate has now given their approval to hold back the rising prices.
Many states, particularly those with coastlines, have been expressing outrage from their homeowners as flood insurance rates have been threatening to skyrocket as a result of a law that would have forced the increases.
However, the Senate has now passed a bill that would stop some of the law’s increase forcing elements.
The flood insurance bill was passed with a vote of 67 to 32. This was a direct result of a bipartisan effort from a broad range of different states that were working together in a coalition. Those in favor of the bill have been optimistic that support would grow. That said, this has not removed the challenges that have always been in the way. As Senator Bill Nelson from Florida pointed out, the next thing to watch is what will be happening in the House. It looks as though things may not be as smooth there as they were in the Senate, as Republican leaders have indicated that they are not interested in moving the bill forward as it is currently written.
Critics have said that the flood insurance bill causes deep harm to very important reforms.
The original reforms that came through the law had a tremendous amount of support from Congress in 2012. This included the support of many of the people who voted to delay the rate increases in the Senate. The law had been designed to phase out the insurance subsidies that are currently in place. The hope is to help to discourage any further building in areas of high risk so that the National Flood Insurance Program may be able to build improved stability and deal with its debt that currently stands at an estimated $24 billion.
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker (R) said that “This is, in essence, an entitlement program”. He was one of the original participants in creating the legislation, and more recently spoke of “huge, gargantuan” increases to the rates that homeowners have had to pay over the last year as this law (known as the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act), became effective.