Boehner: House won't repeal flood insurance hikes

December 2013 flooding in Franklin
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Speaker John Boehner says the GOP-controlled House won't take up legislation aimed at neutering a 2012 overhaul of the federal flood insurance program that is imposing big premium increases on homeowners who have long paid below-market rates.

The Ohio Republican said "we're not going to do that" when the topic was broached in a hallway exchange with The Associated Press in the Capitol complex.

The bipartisan 2012 overhaul of the much-criticized flood insurance program is requiring owners of vacation homes, frequently-flooded properties, and businesses to lose their subsidized rates over time. Other homeowners can keep their subsidies but can't pass them on when selling their houses, which has caused a disruption in home sales.

That's potentially bad news for Indianapolis homeowners like Liz Larner. She knew the Warfleigh house near the White River was in a flood plain, and that she would need flood insurance even though there'd never been a FEMA claim.

But her premium jumped from $2,095 to $6,500, turning her dream home into a self-described "money pit."

Larner was among the thousands of homeowners caught off-guard by a new law meant to phase out federal flood insurance subsidies, which have put FEMA billions in debt. While the law effects policies bought after July 6, 2012, the new rates weren't available until Oct. 1, 2013.

The Senate will shortly take up legislation to delay major elements of the 2012 law.