Rep. Frank LoBiondo was one of 10 New Jersey lawmakers to vote no on legislation renewing the flood insurance program.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Frank LoBiondo, whose Jersey Shore district was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, blasted his fellow House Republicans for advancing a flood insurance bill that he said was biased against New Jersey.

LoBiondo, R-2nd Dist., turned his ire on his colleagues during debate on the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, designed to renew the National Flood Insurance Program that expires this year.

“We’re picking winners and losers,” LoBiondo said on the House floor. “Why should it be that the concerns of my district and people I represent have any less of an influence than on what happens here.”

“I’m sick and tired of having to defend the people of my district and the people of the Northeast from policies that don’t mean the right thing for us,” he said.

N.J. is Republican punching bag

The legislation, which still needs Senate approval, would renew the insurance program for five years, increase premiums for policyholders, and allow the same private insurance companies that administer the program for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to also sell policies in competition with the government.

For those living in houses built before flood areas were mapped, the annual premium increase would be 6.5 percent to 15 percent instead of the current 5 percent to 18 percent. Other homeowners would face premium increases of up to $10,000 a year, plus increase in surcharges.

The bill also would prevent homeowners whose structures needed to be rebuilt three times from obtaining government insurance. It does not include federal funding to update flood maps.

The measure passed, 237-189, with 15 Democrats voting yes and 14 Republicans voting no. Reps. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., and Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11th Dist., joined LoBiondo and all seven New Jersey Democratic lawmakers in voting no.

“New Jersey’s recovery from that traumatic event has been prolonged, in part, by issues facing the National Flood Insurance Program,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., who sought unsuccessfully to increase to $100,000 from $30,000 the amount of money homeowners could receive to bring damaged properties up to current standards.

“We need a long-term (National Flood Insurance Program) reauthorization that focuses on increasing affordability, investing in mitigation, capping the profits of the flood insurance companies, and comprehensively restructuring the claims process,” Pallone said. “This bill fails that test.”

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who has …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)
N.J. Republican blasts colleagues for shortchanging Jersey Shore on flood insurance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *