House passes flood insurance overhaul that could raise premiums

House passes flood insurance overhaul that could raise premiums

WASHINGTON D.C. (WVUE) - The National Flood Insurance Program expires in just three weeks, and a bill passed by The House of Representatives could raise premiums for homeowners across the country.

Some lawmakers say there is still work to be done to fix the program before it expires.

In recent years, the federal government has been shelling out billions in flood insurance claims as part of the program.

According to FEMA, between 1978 and 2014, the federal government paid out more than $51 billion dollars.

However, the premiums currently being paid by policyholders are not keeping up with the expense of flood claims.

Because of that, the National Flood Insurance Program is already more than $25 billion in debt. Lawmakers are trying to both renew and retool the bill called the "21st Century Flood Reform Act."

The vote on the bill was mostly along party lines. Most democrats and just over a dozen Republicans opposed the bill, including some Louisiana representatives.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise spoke in support of the bill, saying it would strengthen the program and protect taxpayers. ?The house bill now heads to the Senate where it could face some opposition from both sides as well.

Senator John Kennedy said the house proposal failed to strike the right balance between, "the integrity of the program, the financial stability of the program and the affordability."