Congressional staffs are working on compromise legislation to counteract an amendment to the recently signed Housing and Community Development Act which seriouly weakened the national flood insurance program.
Staffs of both the House Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Housing and the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Department of Housing and Urban Development are beginning to develop proposals which would reinstate incentives for flood plain communities to remain in the insurance program, according to Hill sources.
Ten day's ago, President Carter signed the act into law after a lengthy, heated battle to force climination of the Eagleton/Taylor amendment failed in both houses. The act was the authorizing andappropriations legislation for HUD, which is why a presidential veto was not considered seriously, according to White House staff sources.
At the signing ceremony, however, Carter noted the controversy surrounding the amendment and said he would consider requesting corrective legislation to blunt the amendment's effects.
In a letter to a leading environmental opponent of the amendment this week, the White House aide who handled the legislation noted, " . . . the administration strongly opposed changes in the flood insurance program, and we intend to take whatever actions are necessary to restore incentives for local participation."
The amendment, whose authors are Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-Mo.) and Rep. Gene Taylor (R-Mo.), permits federally chartered, private mortgage lenders to finance both residential and commercial construction in flood plain areas.
Such flood plain construction generally is ineligible for flood disaster benefits, although it would not automatically eliminate an entire community from participation in the national insurance plan, housing subcommittee sources explained.