To the dismay of Florida Democrats and Gov. Rick Scott, the U.S. House voted 225 to 193 on Tuesday to reject an attempt to delay most rate hikes in flood insurance for four years.  

 “Today I spoke with House Speaker John Boehner and encouraged him to take up legislation to fix the unfair national flood insurance rate hikes,” Scott said. “For too long, Florida has been a donor state to the National Flood Insurance Program by contributing $16 billion over the last three decades, which is nearly four times the amount Florida homeowners have received back in claims.”

 “Whether a legislative or executive fix, we need immediate action for Florida families.”

He and Florida members of Congress are trying to fend off rate increases designed to reflect the actual risk and cost of flooding.

 House Democrats rallied around a procedural move to bring to the floor a bill that would delay rate hikes for four years while FEMA studies the impact on homeowners. The Senate passed a similar bill last week.

 “This bill allows for time to research the most affordable and efficient ways to reform the National Flood Insurance Program so that we can ensure stability for Florida homeowners,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston. “Such steps would ease homeowners’ concerns and prevent unnecessary shock to the housing market in Florida and nationwide.”

 Fellow Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Boca Raton, told the House: “We have a crisis -- a crisis in Florida and across this nation -- where constituents are facing skyrocketing jumps in flood insurance premiums making homeownership unaffordable.”

 Many Republicans oppose a delay, saying the new rates will prevent the National Flood Insurance Program from running a multi-billion debt. Some called the Democratic move a political stunt, saying they are developing more meaningful relief for homeowners.

 Congress already has voted to delay some rate hikes that affect homeowners in older houses until Oct. 1. The vote on Tuesday indicates that a broader delay faces big obstacles.