House passes bill to renew flood insurance program

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By KEVIN FREKING
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has passed legislation that will increase flood insurance premiums for many property owners to help firm up a program under stress from ever-more frequent and powerful storms.

The bill's passage Tuesday was secured when sponsors agreed to accommodate lawmakers determined to protect constituents from steeper rate hikes.

The measure passed 237-189. Opposition largely came from Democratic lawmakers, but some Republicans also argued that recent changes to the bill didn't go far enough to keep rates affordable.

Just last month, the National Flood Insurance Program needed a $16 billion bailout to continue paying claims stemming from Hurricane Harvey. Critics said that demonstrated the need for a major overhaul as Congress considered a long-term extension.

The program is the only flood insurance available to most Americans.

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