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How Florida delegation voted on flood insurance bills

WASHINGTON — The most surprising thing about the growing alarm in Washington over dramatic flood insurance rate hikes is how quietly the law enabling those increases came to pass.

The bill — the innocuous if clunky sounding Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act — passed the House in 2011. Every member of the Florida delegation except one, Rep. Connie Mack of Fort Myers, voted in favor of it, which may come as a surprise given how loudly Florida members are pushing for changes today.

The bill never passed the Senate. A year went by. Then came an opportunity: The $127 billion transportation bill. The flood language was tacked on during negotiations between the House and Senate along with a bunch of other stuff, including a bill earmarking billions in BP oil spill fines to the gulf and a measure preventing a doubling of student loan interest rates.

That's often how the sausage is made in Washington.

"It caught a ride on the last train out of the station. But it isn't like this was something that came out of left field," said Steve Ellis, vice president for Taxpayers for Common Sense, which supports the flood reform. The need to shore up the federal program was discussed for years, he said.

But suddenly lawmakers in states as diverse as Florida, Louisiana, New York and North Dakota are hearing a lot from constituents.

"It's taken a while for people to actually recognize it," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., whose warnings a year ago were mostly ignored.

The transportation bill passed the House by a 373-52 vote and the Senate by 74-19. Landrieu was among the supporters because she was pushing for the BP oil money. In Florida, it got the support of most of the House delegation. The no votes came from conservatives who seemed more concerned about overall spending.

The same can be said for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio who has consistently voted against sweeping legislative packages. His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson, voted for the bill. But now Nelson is working with Landrieu, Rubio and others on a fix. Florida House members are pursuing relief as well.

Here's a breakdown of how the Florida delegation voted on the legislation:

Overwhelming support

H.R. 1309 Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011. House approved 406-22 on July 12, 2011. The provision never passed the Senate.

Name, partyVote
Jeff Miller, R-PensacolaYes
Steve Southerland, R- Panama CityYes
Corrine Brown, D-JacksonvilleYes
Ander Crenshaw, R-JacksonvilleYes
Richard Nugent, R-Spring HillYes
Cliff Stearns, R-OcalaYes
John Mica, R-Winter ParkYes
Daniel Webster, R-OrlandoYes
Gus Bilirakis, R‑Palm HarborYes
C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian ShoresYes
Kathy Castor, D-TampaYes
Dennis Ross, R-LakelandYes
Vern Buchanan, R-SarasotaYes
Connie Mack, R-Fort MyersNo
Bill Posey, R-RockledgeYes
Tom Rooney, R‑OkeechobeeYes
Frederica Wilson, D-MiamiYes
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-MiamiYes
Ted Deutch, D-Boca RatonDidn't vote
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-WestonYes
Mario Diaz-Balart, R-MiamiYes
Allen West, R-Palm Beach GardensYes
Alcee Hastings, D-MiramarYes
Sandy Adams, R-OviedoYes
David Rivera, R-MiamiYes

Tucked away

But it was included in a giant highway bill, H.R. 4348, that was approved June 29, 2012. The House voted in favor 373-52, and the Senate approved it 74-19. Some conservatives didn't like the bill simply because it was so big, so their no vote shouldn't be characterized as a vote against the flood insurance reform.

Name, partyVote
Congress
Jeff Miller, R-PensacolaYes
Steve Southerland, R- Panama CityYes
Corrine Brown, D-JacksonvilleYes
Ander Crenshaw, R-JacksonvilleYes
Richard Nugent, R-Spring HillNo
Cliff Stearns, R-OcalaYes
John Mica, R-Winter ParkYes
Daniel Webster, R-OrlandoYes
Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm HarborYes
C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian ShoresYes
Kathy Castor, D-TampaYes
Dennis Ross, R-LakelandNo
Vern Buchanan, R-SarasotaYes
Connie Mack, R-Fort MyersNo
Bill Posey, R-RockledgeNo
Tom Rooney, R-OkeechobeeYes
Frederica Wilson, D-MiamiYes
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-MiamiYes
Ted Deutch, D-Boca RatonYes
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-WestonYes
Mario Diaz-Balart, R-MiamiYes
Allen West, R-Palm Beach GardensYes
Alcee Hastings, D-MiramarYes
Sandy Adams, R-OviedoNo
David Rivera, R-MiamiYes
Senate
Bill Nelson, DYes
Marco Rubio, RNo

Second thoughts

Since then, there have been attempts by lawmakers to stop the hikes, or slow them. One amendment delaying premium hikes for one-year, sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., was adopted to a Homeland Security bill, H.R. 2217, on June 5. It hasn't passed the Senate.

Name, partyVote
Jeff Miller, R-PensacolaYes
Steve Southerland, R- Panama CityYes
Ted Yoho, R-GainesvilleNo
Ander Crenshaw, R-JacksonvilleYes
Corrine Brown, D-JacksonvilleYes
Ron DeSantis, R‑Ponte Vedra BeachNo
John Mica, R-Winter ParkYes
Bill Posey, R-RockledgeYes
Alan Grayson, D-OrlandoYes
Daniel Webster, R-OrlandoNo
Richard Nugent, R-Spring HillNo
Gus Bilirakis, R‑Palm HarborYes
C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores Didn't vote
Kathy Castor, D-TampaYes
Dennis Ross, R-LakelandNo
Vern Buchanan, R‑SarasotaYes
Tom Rooney, R‑OkeechobeeYes
Patrick Murphy, D-JupiterYes
Trey Radel, R-Fort MyersNo
Alcee Hastings, D‑MiramarYes
Ted Deutch, D-Boca RatonYes
Lois Frankel, D‑West Palm BeachYes
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-WestonYes
Frederica Wilson, D-MiamiYes
Mario Diaz-Balart, R-MiamiYes
Joe Garcia, D-MiamiYes
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-MiamiYes

Source: www.govtrack.us

How Florida delegation voted on flood insurance bills 10/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 1:14pm]
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