WASHINGTON — Amid intense political jockeying and behind-the-scenes finger-pointing, it appears that Congress will adjourn for the year without agreeing on action to curb steep hikes in flood insurance premiums for thousands of homeowners now and many more beginning in October 2014.

An attempt on Thursday to push a stand-alone bill through the House of Representatives before Christmas, led by Republican Reps. Vern Buchanan of Florida, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Jeb Hensarling of Texas, ran aground without reaching the floor when key Democrats balked.

But a large bipartisan group in the House and the Senate is still pushing measures to slow the effects of an overhaul enacted just last year that was aimed at stabilizing and updating the financially insolvent Federal Flood Insurance Program. The 2012 law would do little in the short term, however, to reduce the program’s $24 billion deficit, of which $16 billion stemmed from the 2005 ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

In June, the House passed a bipartisan measure delaying some of the premium hikes as part of a Homeland Security appropriations bill, but that measure stalled in the Senate.

About 5.5 million homeowners in floodplains are required to buy a federal flood insurance policy covering up to $250,000 in claims, and rates have been suppressed over the years to encourage compliance. But Katrina and concerns about rising seas forced tougher measures.

The 2012 law’s severest premium shocks to hit so far affect people who’ve bought or sold a home in a floodplain.

The home buyer is required to immediately pay a premium reflecting the actual flood risk, a change that can raise the insurance cost by thousands of dollars and drive down the selling price by tens of thousands of dollars.

This fall, owners of second homes, commercial properties or properties with multiple flood-related insurance claims began paying increases covering 25 percent of the gap between their artificially low rates and rates reflecting the true risks of buildings in their flood zones.

On Oct. 1, 2014, a portion of the remaining 4.4 million homeowners who live in floodplains will begin to face higher annual premium increases for the next five years until their premiums match the true risk of flooding.

Members of Congress have been hearing howls from property owners since the overhaul took effect.

“Neither Democrats nor Republicans envisioned it would inflict the pain and concern that many Americans are experiencing,” Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California, one of the law’s co-authors, said last month.

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