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PIA Praises Senate Passage of Bill to Reauthorize TRIA

PIA is praising the U.S. Senate for passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (S. 2244)...
July 18, 2014

PIA is praising the U.S. Senate for passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (S. 2244). The bill passed overwhelmingly on July 17 by a vote of 93-4. It extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) program in its current form for seven years, but increases industry co-shares by one-third under a five-year phase-in period.

“PIA applauds the Senate for passing legislation that reauthorizes this vital program that provides for a financial backstop in the event of a terrorist attack,” said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile. “We are pleased that the Senate bill extends TRIA for a full seven years and that it seeks to ensure the widest possible availability and affordability of terrorism insurance for consumers. We urge the House to quickly follow suit so that Congress can get to work resolving differences between the Senate and House versions of the legislation.”

Before the vote on final passage, four amendments to TRIA were considered and voted on.

Two of the amendments passed unanimously by voice vote: One was the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II), offered by Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.). PIA supports NARAB II, as it addresses our long-term priority of aiding the agent licensing process.

The other amendment that was passed unanimously by voice vote was offered by Senator David Vitter (R-La.). This amendment ensures that membership on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors includes someone with community banking expertise.

An amendment by Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to create an advisory committee to encourage and study the growth of nongovernmental, private market reinsurance capacity passed on a bipartisan vote of 97-0.

The only amendment to be defeated was offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.); it would have allowed the federal government more time to recoup premiums after a terrorist attack, if necessary due to economic conditions or the affordability of commercial insurance for small and medium-sized businesses. The amendment failed 49-47.

Before the vote, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) supporting the passage of S. 2244.

Next Steps

All eyes are now on the House. The House could advance its version of TRIA renewal, the TRIA Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4871), which would renew the program for five years but put it in a path toward phasing it out while increasing the trigger level for when a government backstop would kick in from $100 million to $500 million in five years.

Or alternately, considering the lopsided margin of approval in the Senate, the House could simply take up the Senate bill.

With the clock ticking toward another Congressional recess beginning in early August, it will be vital for the House to act next week for the process to continue. House staff members have said they do expect for there to be movement on TRIA in the full House next week.

Before a final bill can be sent to the president for signature, Congress must resolve differences between the Senate and House versions of the legislation. This could be achieved through a congressional conference committee, where appointed members from both chambers would negotiate and agree on an identical piece of legislation that would then be voted on in both houses.

The clock is ticking.

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