The House passed its most recent flood insurance legislation Tuesday evening by an overwhelming vote of 306-91, exceeding the needed 2/3 majority. The bill now travels to the Senate, which can either pass the bill onto President Obama for signage into law, or further modify the legislation.
Like the Senate's Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act that passed in January, the House bill aims to reduce climbing flood insurance premiums associated with the 2012 Biggert Waters Act. The bill includes language to limit yearly premium increases to 15%, and tasks the Federal Emergency Management Agency with striving to cap annual premiums for policyholders at 1% of their total coverage. A $150,000 policy, for example, would have a premium of $1,500.
Although the bill passed with bipartisan support, its opposition came mostly from Republicans, who voted 86 times against the legislation.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., co-sponsor of the current bill and namesake of Biggert Waters, supported the overhaul from the House floor by saying, "because I'm the Waters of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, I felt a responsibility to make sure we deal with the concerns that were coming to us from our constituents all over the country. The rate increases were unimaginable."