A vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to delay flood insurance rate hikes has been postponed another week. But, a key lawmaker working to pass the delay said he’s confident a bill will finally pass next week.
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart represents a district that stretches across Southwest Florida and South Florida—two areas among the hardest hit by skyrocketing flood insurance premiums.
Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, said he’s working with House members on a bill delaying the hikes, while also dealing with some of the underlying problems causing them. However, he said there members of Congress from both parties in the House that are opposed to changing any part of the federal flood insurance program.
“It’s up to us to convince the majority of our colleagues, of just how devastating this would be to the entire U-S economy, to families, to people losing their homes,” he said.
Last year, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which compels people in flood-prone areas to shore up the National Flood Insurance Program that is billions of dollars in debt.
A bill delaying the hikes for four years recently passed in the Senate and Diaz Balart said the House is poised to pass its own bill next week.
“We have the majority leader who is on our side: Eric Cantor,” he said. “We continue to work on it. I am convinced that in very short order we are going to be able to bring to the floor a bill which continues on the road to reform the system so that the system itself does not go bankrupt, while not having a process where people are frankly going to be priced out of their home.”
Diaz Balart said the bill was supposed to go up for a vote this week, but there are still two minor issues to iron out.
He said next week it will be brought up as a suspension bill, which allows it to bypass committee stops where there is significant resistance to changing Biggert-Waters.