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Two years ago, lawmakers fixed our broken flood insurance system. Then they broke it all over again.
Here’s a rainy-season parable about cooperation in American politics: In July 2012, Republicans and Democrats came together during a bitter campaign season to enact sweeping reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program, phasing out subsidies for hundreds of thousands of property owners in flood-prone areas, dragging a debt-ridden program toward fiscal and ecological sustainability. It was a rare moment of unity. In March 2014, the two parties came together again, but this time, they gutted the reforms they had passed less than two years before. This is the story of a dysfunctional federal program, Washington’s unlikely efforts to cross party lines to fix it and Capitol Hill’s mad scramble to undo the fix after homeowners started griping.