Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senators will try to amend flood insurance rate fix to defense bill



WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators today said they will try to amend a defense bill with a proposal to stop steep increases in flood insurance rates affecting Florida and other states.

Calling the National Defense Authorization Act "must-pass" legislation, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said, "We need to get this legislation amended onto it and get it signed into law."

The flood insurance hikes were part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform law, overwhelmingly approved by Congress in 2012. But the reforms to phase out subsidies have caused near panic in states such as Florida, where property owners are seeing big increases. 

The sponsors include Nelson, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., David Vitter, R-La., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“The nearly 500,000 flood insurance policyholders in Louisiana and 5.5 million across the nation cannot wait any longer for a solution to skyrocketing flood insurance rates," said Landrieu, who is leading the effort. She said that if the defense bill cannot be amended, another bill will be targeted.

Noticably missing from the mix is Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who had joined a news conference last month annoucing the bill to fix Biggert-Waters but has since kept a distance from the group. Rubio has said he wants the National Flood Insurance Program sustainable for the future.

A companion House bill has 135 co-sponsors.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:49pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours