WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) — The first draft of President Trump’s first federal budget does not address a growing concern down the shore. The possibility that the cost of federal flood insurance might be going up.
There are numerous media reports suggesting Mr. Trump is considering a surcharge on flood insurance that could help fund erection of the wall he wants between the US and Mexico.
South Jersey Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo says the budget blueprint contains the surcharge idea, but no linkage to funding the wall.
The congressman opposes any hike in flood insurance premiums, whether or not the wall is involved.
“Our flood insurance policy holders have suffered through Sandy. We’ve suffered through a nor’easter just a couple of days ago,” LoBiondo told KYW Newsradio. “And we have fought long and hard to keep the federal flood insurance policy in place.”
His fear is that some in Congress might be trying to kill the program altogether and the surcharge idea is just step one in that process.
“Our folks are struggling as it is, and I think I, and a number of my colleagues, will fight this every way we can,” LoBiondo added.
The so-called “skinny budget” references a proposed $190 million cut to the flood program, covering money for maps that came in part from the Department of Homeland Security.
There are suggestions the surcharge would make that money up.