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Washington Beat: House Members Call on Senate to Pass Their Flood Insurance Bill

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TWC News: Washington Beat: House Members Call on Senate to Pass Their Flood Insurance Bill
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House lawmakers are calling on the Senate to pass their flood insurance bill.

The legislation was approved by the House earlier this week.

It would put the breaks on steep increases to flood insurance premiums that have begun to kick in.

The bill would cap annual rate hikes to 18 percent.

Homes that were built to code but then re-mapped into higher risk flood zones would also be able to keep their subsidies.

The legislation would be retroactive, meaning that homeowners who are already paying higher rates would get refunds.

"A lot of people don't even realize the crisis that would have been coming, the crisis that's looming, so I think for quality of life, for keeping people in their homes, this is a tremendous victory for the entire Congress," said Rep. Michael Grimm, whose district covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.

"For most Americans, the largest investment that they will make in their life is in their home," said Rep. Gregory Meeks of Queens. "That's the largest investment they will make in their life, and that investment was on the verge of being wiped out."

The bill is in response to a 2012 law that aims to shore up the financially troubled flood insurance program by putting premiums in line with risk, but that resulted in massive rate hikes.

The Senate is expected to take up the new bill as early as next week.

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