The Senate on Thursday voted 67-32 with bipartisan support to delay steep rises in homeowners’ federal flood insurance premiums.
The bill would gut a law passed just 17 months ago to put the National Flood Insurance Program on a sounder financial footing. The program now is $24 billion in debt.
The measure passed by the Senate would delay the increases for four years while the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an affordability study and certifies that new maps of flood zones are scientifically based.
Its fate in the House is uncertain. Speaker John Boehner has expressed opposition to bringing it to a vote.
The White House earlier in the week also expressed opposition to the Senate bill.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency for years has subsidized many flood insurance policies by setting premiums artificially low to encourage participation. A 2012 law required premium increases to reflect the risks.
But homeowners complained about vastly higher premiums. Senators who supported the measure said many home sales were ruined because buyers objected to being stuck with thousands of dollars worth of higher premiums.