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Landrieu Revamps Flood Insurance Amendment, Clearing Path for Water Bill

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Landrieu has been joined in her efforts to rein in the premium increases by fellow Louisianan David Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the water billís co-sponsor. The support by lawmakers from New York and New Jersey has given Landrieu additional leverage in pushing her campaign.

The amendment also would benefit interior states along major river systems, such as those bordering the Mississippi River, an aide to Landrieu said, because of new flood maps that the insurance programís administrators are using.

With the issue of the amendmentís cost now resolved, the water bill appears to be back on track for passage by midweek, although senators still have until 4 p.m. on May 13 to file amendments.

The bill would authorize Army Corps of Engineers projects, including harbor dredging and protecting waterways from storm damage. It also would create a national levee safety program and a financing pilot program to provide loans and loan guarantees for flood control, water supply and wastewater projects.

Under a compromise that senators reached last week, funding for dredging and other port improvements would increase by $100 million annually for six years. After that, all the revenue raised annually through a user fee levied on domestic and imported shipping would be dedicated to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. That revenue now totals about $1.6 billion a year.

Sarah Chacko contributed to this report.

Corrects the timing to say that the amendment was filed Thursday.

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