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 …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time News

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