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Senator: Flood insurance bill blocked by politics

By Tamara Lush

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1 2013 10:36 a.m. MDT

A woman positions a hose to pump flood waters from Tropical Storm Debby out of her business in downtown Live Oak, Fla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey, Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says a bipartisan proposal to delay federal flood insurance rate hikes is being blocked by a bitter congressional dispute over President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

Nelson, along with U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez, David Vitter and Mary Landrieu filed legislation last week to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act until next year.

The rate increases go into effect Tuesday. They were passed in 2012 to keep the National Flood Insurance Program solvent after an onslaught of claims from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Florida has some of the highest rates of people covered by subsidized flood insurance, and Pinellas County has more subsidized policies than any other county in the nation.

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