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House could vote this week on TRIA reauthorization

House could vote this week on TRIA reauthorization

Insurance industry groups are hailing House of Representatives leaders' stated intention to move swiftly on legislation that would reinstate the federal government's terrorism insurance backstop program.

House leaders have said a measure reviving the program could come to a vote as early as this week. The program, created by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, expired on Dec. 31 after the Senate failed to take up a bill passed by the House that would have extended the program for six years.

Extension of the backstop was the top legislative goal of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc., as well as insurance and producer groups, in the last Congress. Both the House and Senate approved their own extension bills, but retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., blocked Senate consideration of the compromise House bill because he objected to a provision that would have created a National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers that would have streamlined interstate agent licensing.

On Monday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, issued a statement concerning plans to vote this week on legislation to reauthorize the program, commonly known as TRIA.

“Just last month, Democrats joined Republicans in the House to overwhelmingly pass bipartisan legislation 417-7 to reauthorize TRIA with taxpayer protection reforms,” said Rep. Hensarling in his statement. After blaming “the then Democrat-controlled Senate” for failing to vote on the measure, he said the House “will once again lead on this issue and bring up the same bipartisan bill that 196 House Democrats voted for less than a month ago.”

“I look forward to yet another overwhelmingly bipartisan vote for this legislation,” said Rep. Hensarling in his statement.

“PCI praises House leadership for making TRIA a top priority this week,” Nat Wienecke, senior vice president of federal government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America in Washington, said in a statement. “We urge the House and Senate to act swiftly to pass the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 and send the legislation to the president's desk.”

“Congress must make it a top priority to immediately take up and pass the already agreed-upon House-Senate TRIA reauthorization provisions,” Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the Washington-based American Insurance Association, said in a statement.

“We are very pleased to see that the House plans to vote on TRIA reauthorization legislation this week,” Ms. Pusey said. “We urge the Senate to quickly pass the bill in order to restore market certainty and protect our economy against major acts of terrorism.”

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