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Senate Passes Flood Insurance Reform, Heads to President for Signature

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Washington, DC, March 13, 2014 | comments
In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 72-22, today the U.S. Senate approved comprehensive legislation designed to end unaffordable flood insurance rate hikes.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, lauded passage of H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

For months, Waters led a Democratic effort to provide homeowners with important flood insurance rate relief and to bring accountability to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The measure passed the House on March 4, and now heads to the president for signature.

She released the following statement:

“Ending skyrocketing flood insurance premiums was personal to me. I am the ‘Waters’ in ‘Biggert-Waters.’  And I couldn’t be prouder to tell the hundreds of thousands of middle class families who have been suffering that relief has arrived.

As we worked on this legislation, I had the privilege of talking with and meeting many who were affected by rising flood insurance premiums. I traveled to Louisiana and saw those who were truly bearing the brunt of FEMA’s irresponsible implementation firsthand.

They are not millionaires looking to protect their mansions or vacation homes. Rather, they are families already struggling to make ends meet. Families living on a tight budget. Seniors living on fixed incomes.

Over the past five years, these families have dealt with sky high unemployment, declining home prices, and an economic recovery that has disproportionately benefitted the wealthy. And many are still picking up the pieces after losing everything in storms like Katrina, Rita and Sandy.

Today marks the culmination of our work across the aisle – and across the Capitol – to provide these homeowners with relief. And while this measure isn’t perfect, it will help hundreds of thousands of families currently facing unaffordable premiums.

It is with great pride that I tell homeowners living in flood-prone regions: you now have certainty. You now can rest easy. You now know that the cost of flood insurance will never again undercut your ability to buy, sell, or remain in your home.”

As a coauthor of the Biggert-Waters legislation, Congresswoman Waters has taken worked to address the unintended consequences of the law, spearheading bipartisan, bicameral legislation that passed the Senate and garnered the support of more a majority of the House of Representatives. Over the past several weeks, Waters and other Democrats worked with Republican leadership to craft an alternative measure that can garner the support of Congress and also achieve affordability.


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