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Obama expected to OK revised flood insurance

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By Gannett News Service
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to approve bipartisan legislation that would block dramatic increases in premiums paid by some property owners covered under the federal flood insurance program.

The 72-22 vote sends the bill to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. The House approved the legislation last week.

Under the bill, called the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program could increase no more than 18 percent per property annually.

The legislation was crafted by Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., in response to premiums that in some cases had increased tenfold.

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who worked on the compromise, said recently that the House measure strikes “the right balance” between fiscal solvency for the flood insurance program and consumer affordability.

Supporters of the measure said the premium increases were making it impossible for many people to keep their homes or sell them.

Critics say taxpayers will be left to foot the bill for the financially troubled insurance program.

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