WASHINGTON — Rep. Frank LoBiondo, whose Jersey Shore district was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, blasted his fellow Home Republicans for advancing a flood insurance coverage invoice that he stated was biased towards New Jersey.
LoBiondo, R-2nd Dist., turned his ire on his colleagues throughout debate on the twenty first Century Flood Reform Act, designed to resume the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program that expires this yr.
“We’re choosing winners and losers,” LoBiondo stated on the Home flooring. “Why ought to it’s that the considerations of my district and other people I characterize have any much less of an affect than on what occurs right here.”
“I am sick and uninterested in having to defend the individuals of my district and the individuals of the Northeast from insurance policies that do not imply the proper factor for us,” he stated.
N.J. is Republican punching bag
The laws, which nonetheless wants Senate approval, would renew the insurance coverage program for 5 years, improve premiums for policyholders, and permit the identical personal insurance coverage corporations that administer this system for the Federal Emergency Administration Company to additionally promote insurance policies in competitors with the federal government.
For these dwelling in homes constructed earlier than flood areas have been mapped, the annual premium improve can be 6.5 % to fifteen % as an alternative of the present 5 % to 18 %. Different householders would face premium will increase of as much as $10,000 a yr, plus improve in surcharges.
The invoice additionally would forestall householders whose buildings wanted to be rebuilt 3 times from acquiring authorities insurance coverage. It doesn’t embrace federal funding to replace flood maps.
The measure handed, 237-189, with 15 Democrats voting sure and 14 Republicans voting no. Reps. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., and Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-eleventh Dist., joined LoBiondo and all seven New Jersey Democratic lawmakers in voting no.
“New Jersey’s restoration from that traumatic occasion has been extended, partially, by points dealing with the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program,” stated Rep. Frank Pallone, D-sixth Dist., who sought unsuccessfully to extend to $one hundred,000 from $30,000 the sum of money householders might obtain to convey broken properties as much as present requirements.
“We’d like an extended-time period (Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program) reauthorization that focuses on growing affordability, investing in mitigation, capping the income of the flood insurance coverage corporations, and comprehensively restructuring the claims course of,” Pallone stated. “This invoice fails that check.”
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who has launched bipartisan laws within the Senate to overtake the flood insurance coverage program, stated the Home invoice was the “Republicans’ first concrete step in the direction of dismantling a essential program” that serves 227,343 New Jersey households.
“Relatively than reform and enhance the (flood insurance coverage program) to make premiums extra reasonably priced, improve mitigation and make the claims course of extra truthful for policyholders, this invoice goes in the other way, elevating charges, kicking weak households out…