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Sen. Dodd reiterates support for lasting backstop


WASHINGTON--The chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee vowed again Wednesday to seek "a more permanent federal commitment" to the existing federal terrorism insurance backstop.

Before he heard a panel of witnesses offer their opinions on what should be done about the backstop, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said that "we continue to see a need to provide a federal backstop to protect our people, businesses and critical infrastructure" from future terrorist attacks. The current federal backstop that would help insurers deal with claims arising from a future catastrophic terrorist attack is slated to expire Dec. 31.

Sen. Dodd said earlier this month that he did not want the committee to renew the program every couple of years. He repeated that contention Thursday.

He also made clear that he does not intend to wait until the last minute to get a bill through the committee.

"We're going to try to move on this," said Sen. Dodd after listening to the witnesses' concerns. "We'll be trying to move as quickly as we can," he said, but did not set a timetable.