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Senate expected to delay backstop


WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives is likely to move relatively quickly next year on what role the government should play in guaranteeing terrorism insurance, but the Senate appears unlikely to follow suit, a key Hill staffer said last week.

In fact, "there's at least an even chance" that the backstop 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 wait to the last minute to reauthorize the program, perhaps scaling it down to cover only chemical, nuclear, biological or radiological risks, or simply let it expire, he said.

Mr. Gordon spoke at a terrorism insurance seminar at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week presented by Wachovia Insurance Services and law firm Morris, Manning & Martin L.L.P. and co-sponsored by the American Insurance Assn. and the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.