House of Representatives delays vote on bill to stop flood insurance hikes

1:56 PM, Feb 26, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- It appears we are going to have to wait longer for a vote that would start putting the brakes on higher rates for flood insurance.

The U.S. House was expected to vote on a bill as early as Wednesday that would make major changes to the new flood insurance law. However, broke the news Wednesday that House Republicans said the vote would be put off until next week because they did not feel like they would get the two-thirds majority needed for the bill to pass.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., tells 10 News the delay was not due to votes, but because of a "technical issue" with the bill.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill a few weeks ago that aims to stop people's flood insurance rates from going up quickly.

This House bill would do something similar -- still increasing a lot of folks' rates, but spreading it out over a longer period of time.

Two other big parts of this House bill?

If you have a rate like that -- a rate that is slowly going up -- you can pass that slow increase onto a new buyer for your home.

That way, the buyer doesn't have to suddenly pay a much higher rate when they buy your house.

And across the country, flood insurance plans will get an extra fee of $25 for homes and $250 for businesses.

Those fees are there to help get the National Flood Insurance Program out of $24 billion in debt.

But here's the challenge: There are people from both parties who don't like these changes.

They know the flood insurance program has that enormous debt. It's debt paid by taxpayers.

And they see the higher rates hitting folks with homes in flood zones as a reasonable way to get the program back on track.

SEE ALSO: Learn more about the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012

Wondering if you're in a high risk flood zone? CLICK to search for your address on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's(FEMA) official Map Service Center

Once you find the map for your area, use FEMA's "Definitions of FEMA Flood Zone Designations" to better understand what it's showing. 

Maps provided by Bay Area counties: 

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If you want to contact your Congressman:

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R), Dist. 12: 
2313 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5755
Fax: 202-225-4085

Rep. Kathy Castor (D), Dist. 14:
205 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202)225-3376
Fax: (202)225-5652

Rep. Dennis Ross (R), Dist. 15:
229 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1252 
Fax: (202) 226-0585

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R), Dist. 16:
2104 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5015
Fax: (202) 226-0828

Sen. Marco Rubio (R)
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041

Sen. Bill Nelson (D)
United States Senate
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Fax: 202-228-2183

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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