Move to Halt Flood Insurance Rate Hikes Blocked By Pa. Senator

Measure would have delayed hikes for five more years

An amendment aimed at halting federal flood insurance rate hikes for five years has been blocked in the U.S. Senate.

The amendment, introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) was blocked from coming to a vote Tuesday by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Amendments in the U.S. Senate require what is known as "unanimous consent" before a vote can take place, meaning a single member can block a vote from occurring.

Toomey told the New Orleans Times-Picayune Tuesday that he objected to changing reforms put in place last year because he supports the move to "diminish the subsidization that occurs now where homeowners in low-risk areas are made to subsidize in high-risk areas."

Landrieu, the newspaper reported, said she will likely reintroduce the amendment as a bill, which does not require unanimous consent.

The amendment, which has been strongly backed by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), would put off steep rate hikes for coastal homeowners that could begin to take effect this year.

Menendez blasted Toomey's decision in a statement released Tuesday.

"Republicans insisted on ending an affordable flood insurance program and now one Republican from a neighboring state blocked a vote to simply delay devastating insurance rate increases on residents trying to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy," he said.

The measure was blocked "without any regard for people’s safety or government’s public responsibility," he said.

Homeowners could face annual flood insurance premiums of up to $31,000 a year under reforms included in the 2012 Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform law if they do not raise their homes to comply with updated flood maps. Raising a home could cost tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum. Some homeowners have said at public meetings that they are considering abandoning their homes since they cannot afford to raise them.

Homeowners in flood zones who have mortgages are normally required to carry flood insurance.

Many Shore area residents were hopeful that the Landrieu amendment would have bought time for a FEMA flood insurance affordability study to be completed before rates changed.

oldsoldier May 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Proud - All I tried to do was point out a person's right to choose where to live or a lifestyle is a choice guaranteed by the constitution, but it should not be paid for by the rest of the taxpayers. Also, if they want to be covered for loss, they buy insurance. But our government should not be in the insurance business, and other things as well. For this thread, I do not understand your argument with me. You seem to favor of smaller government, as I do. If you are seeking constitutional history and discussion of other government services, then open up another thread and we can do so.
proud May 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Homeowner's insurance is mandatory?
Jenevive May 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Good comments on this article and very informative. Thanks to the Patch and individuals who share important information in their comments
Spooner May 19, 2013 at 04:24 PM
@proud- you never cease to be funny: "intention of the Constitution to limit the POWER of the Government" Now I know your not going to do this...but read the opening remarks of Chief Justice John Marshall in the 1824 NYC navigation case... sounds like he agrees with you? http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0022_0001_ZS.html PS: every time Justice Scalia opens his mouth about "strict construction" I'd love too shove that opinion down his throat... I won't even get into the other two ignorant remarks he made about the other famous commerce cases(Wickard v Filburn & Schechter Poultry v US) in the recent ObamaCare decision. And by the way: taxpayers don't subsidize Social Security...but listen you go on believing they do... Just remember the name: "Frances Perkins"... a juris birdie told her how to get around the Supreme Court ax when she proposed the Social Security Act in 1934 . . . just call it a tax! As for veterans benefits: it's OK for them to fight and defend our country, but hey if you get wounded... your on your own! Government not responsible to make you whole. . .
Paul May 20, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I appreciate the history lesson but why should the government elect to end one subsidy but refuse to end all subsidies that only benefit a few. ie agriculture, oil, etc. I understand your argument that government should not be in the insurance business but to try and correct a decades long wrong on the backs of a few in the short run is not equitable nor should be allowed. Where is the outcry from our elected officials?


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