WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, issued the following statement regarding his vote in favor of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives:

"Tonight, I voted to put a stop to the dramatic and unintended flood insurance premium increases caused by the Biggert-Waters Act," said Rep. Barletta. "This bill will prevent an additional round of premium increases that could have the potential to do even more harm to hardworking Americans during these tough economic times.

"While this legislation addresses some problems with the Biggert-Waters Act, I believe there is still more work to be done. I am hopeful Congress can come together to root out and work through the challenges we face with the NFIP to better protect our communities, homeowners, businesses, and American taxpayers."

"In the 11th District of Pennsylvania, we are well aware of the destruction caused by severe flooding. A little over three years ago, our region was hit by a 500-year flood that devastated our communities. People lost everything.

"That is why we need to invest in mitigation. This means helping flood-prone communities prepare for flood protection with levees and dams, helping families build smarter homes, and helping people get buyouts when they are fed up with the floods."

In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in an effort to balance and ensure the long-term sustainability of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is currently operating with a $24 billion deficit. Unfortunately, the aggressive timeline of the act has caused major affordability issues for residents and businesses as flood insurance rates attempt to reflect full risk.