MIAMI - You would think this snuck up on them, the costly rate hikes starting this week for flood insurance. Your lawmakers, joined by their counterparts from other flood prone states, took to the airwaves expressing shock and indignation, making a big public deal about how they are trying to spare you that sticker-shock, spare the collapse of the market for real estate too costly to insure. You may have heard them lay blame and/or point fingers. What you did not hear them say is that they voted for it.
Yup, they did.
Their "yes" votes are all recorded for last summer's Biggert-Waters Act, the law that extended the National Flood Insurance Program for five years and added reforms meant to shore it up and make it solvent after a $18 billion pay-out for Hurricane Katrina damage. Both Florida Senators and the U.S. Representatives from every South Florida district supported it, even though it jacked up premiums to (what insurers will decide is) the actual cost of flooding risk. That means, if you live in a neighborhood designated high-risk, your flood insurance may eventually cost you more than your mortgage.
The whole House passed the bill overwhelmingly. Then it was attached to another bill to fund transportation, which somehow made sense to Congress. And that one passed the House 373-52 and the Senate 74-19. President Barack Obama signed it into law. Since that June 2012 day, no lawmaker has come forward to tell homeowners about the budget-busting flood insurance bills they were about to face.
So, in light of this week's flurry of D-Day press conferences, satellite interviews and news releases, where all your lawmakers promise to be the heroes that reverse the rate-hikes, you have to ask: Were they for it before they were against it? Did they misunderstand the bill they supported?
How about this one: Did they even read it??
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