It took nearly six months, but Congress on Thursday finally passed a bill to undo the mess lawmakers made of the federal flood insurance program by imposing sharply higher premiums for thousands of property owners across the country and Florida, threatening the state’s tenuous housing market.

By a 72-22 vote, the U.S. Senate passed what amounts to a do-over bill that scraps the big rate hikes many primary homeowners faced while still stabilizing the flood insurance program for future disasters, as was Congress’ original intent.

Because Senate passed the same bill approved by the House last week, the legislation now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama’s approval.


By Jeremy Wallace , Herald-Tribune