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House, Senate may diverge on TRIA extension


WASHINGTON—The House and Senate may take differing approaches to extending the federal terrorism insurance backstop, according to remarks Thursday by key lawmakers at a Capitol Hill meeting.

While Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services Committee Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., both said that the program will be extended, they did not agree on the nature of the extension.

"I'm not going to do another temporary bill," said Sen. Dodd. "We're going to have a permanent bill or we're going to move on."

The current backstop under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act is slated to expire Dec. 31.

"Permanency is not where we're coming from at this point," said Rep. Kanjorski. He said the House committee probably would consider an extension of six to 16 years, adding that "we're certainly not going to do this year-to-year nonsense."

Rep. Kanjorski said that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., has told him he wants a bill out of the full committee by April 2.

The lawmakers spoke at the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers' annual legislative summit in Washington.

Regarding passage of a bill dealing with another high-profile insurance issue, key lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed that a measure streamlining regulation of reinsurers and surplus lines insurers is likely to enjoy broad support, at least in the House.

"I think the prospects are pretty good," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"I'm confident this will become law this year," said Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., who cosponsored the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act in the last Congress. That bill passed the House on a 417-to-0 vote but did not receive Senate action.

Rep. Moore said he plans to reintroduce the bill "within the next few days."