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South Mississippi Living 4/07

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vitter to put hold on bill for insurance

By Kate Magandy - Sun Herald, October 23, 2007

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter said Monday he's putting a hold on the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007.
According to the Senate Web site, a hold is "an informal practice by which a senator informs the floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration. The majority leader need not follow the senator's wishes but is on notice that the opposing senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure."

Vitter, in a press release, said the current bill is similar to last year's and doesn't include provisions that were approved by the House. Vitter particularly addressed the need for greater flood coverage through higher limits and new optional lines of coverage as well as the need for wind-related measures to stabilize general liability rates.

The senator asked the bill's authors, Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), to meet with him to discuss his concerns.

"This bill looks to be a lot like last year's, and that's disappointing," Vitter said in his release. "Last year and again this year, the House companion bill at least addressed some of the missing pieces, but the bill reported out of Chairman Dodd's committee leaves out these needed reforms.

"I hope the drafters of this bill will open up the lines of communication and work with those states directly impacted by this legislation to ensure that we pass a flood insurance bill that best serves those affected areas," he said.

Vitter also said he plans to organize a meeting between himself, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Mississippi senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran to discuss what is needed to improve the current version of the bill.

Lott spokesman Lee Youngblood said Monday that Lott also is concerned with the current version of the bill and is committed to getting results for the people of South Mississippi.

"He's going to try any way he can to get a result, whether it's in committee or on the floor," Youngblood said.

"The bottom line is, they didn't include (the wind provision) the other day. He will try to help in any way he can. He has a stake in seeing the wind provision added."

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