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Congress divided on terror backstop: Staffer


WASHINGTON--Although the House of Representatives is likely to move relatively quickly next year on the issue of what role the federal government should play in guaranteeing terrorism insurance, the Senate appears unlikely to follow suit, according to a key Hill staffer.

In fact, "I think there's at least an even chance" the federal backstop originally created by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act will be allowed to lapse, at least temporarily, after its scheduled Dec. 31, 2007, sunset, said Robert Gordon, senior counsel of the House Financial Services Committee.

The Senate will either wait until the last minute to reauthorize some version of the program, perhaps scaling it down to cover only chemical, nuclear, biological or radiological risks, or simply let it expire, he said.

Mr. Gordon made his comments at a terrorism insurance seminar at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.