WASHINGTON (AP) — The effort to delay huge increases in insurance premiums for homeowners in flood-prone areas faces a skeptical House chairman who is largely standing behind the changes Congress oversaw in the nation’s flood insurance program less than two years ago.
The Texas Republican who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Jeb Hensarling, wants “free-market alternatives” to the government-run program.
Hensarling and other House Republicans aren’t inclined to back away from changes meant to deal with a program that is $24 billion in the red. It’s been bailing out at-risk homeowners whose flood insurance has been subsidized by taxpayers and other policyholders for decades.
Increasing tensions over the issue is a 67-32 bipartisan vote Thursday in the Senate to delay some, but not all, of the changes approved in 2012.
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