Palazzo Continues to Push for Flood Fix
Bipartisan group of lawmakers ask House leadership to include delay measures in upcoming legislation
Washington, DC- Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4), today with a bipartisan group of 73 lawmakers sent a letter to House leadership requesting that a one-year delay to changes in flood insurance rates be added to upcoming legislation. Palazzo, along with Representatives Bill Cassidy (LA-6), Michael Grimm (NY-11), and Cedric Richmond (LA-2), championed a similar provision added to a FY14 Homeland Security Appropriations bill that passed earlier this year. That measure passed with the bipartisan support of 281 members of the House, but has yet to come before the full Senate for a vote.
The letter cited changes to flood insurance that have “the potential to devastate home values, small businesses, and entire communities across the country.” Specifically, the letter notes: "In Mississippi and through no fault of their own, homeowners are facing foreclosures because of these rate increases, despite following the rules and building to code after Hurricane Katrina."
Flood insurance rates for NFIP policyholders are expected to increase as early as October of this year due to changes enacted in the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 as well as changes to FEMA flood maps. As one of the founders of the Home Protection Caucus and its Vice Chair, Palazzo has also worked as part of a bipartisan, bicameral effort to address flood rate issues facing NFIP policyholders and communities across the nation. In March 2013, Palazzo introduced legislation that would enact rate changes in a more compassionate way and give policyholders more flexibility for lowering rates through mitigation activities.
The letter also states:
“Despite the efforts of the House, the U.S. Senate has, to date, failed to pass any measure shielding policyholders from catastrophic flood insurance rate increases. It is thus incumbent for the U.S. House of Representatives to once again lead and put forth a measure that will delay the implementation of steep rate increases. We urge on behalf of our constituents that the House-passed amendment included in the FY14 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, or a similar provision providing relief from the rapid and unanticipated flood insurance rate increases, be added to the forthcoming debt ceiling legislation in addition to any legislative vehicle used to complete the appropriations process for the 2014 fiscal year.”