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Prospects for TRIA Less Certain in House

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) threw cold water on any idea that the House would quickly follow suit and take up Terrorism Risk Insurance Act reauthorization...
July 24, 2014

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) threw cold water on any idea that the House would quickly follow suit and take up Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) reauthorization. Immediately after the Senate’s 93-4 vote to renew TRIA, Hensarling issued a statement sharply deriding the Senate bill, saying it won’t come to the House floor and that it “is going to take several more months” to reauthorize the program. For a time early last week, it had looked like the House would act on TRIA immediately after the Senate.

Republicans in the House are sharply divided on TRIA. A significant minority of the GOP caucus, Hensarling included, wants to reduce the scope of TRIA and put it on a path to elimination. Another slice of the Republican caucus comprised of moderates supports the Senate bill, as do House Democrats. In light of Hensarling’s stance, action may not occur until the fall.

“We have a diverse Republican caucus in the House,” Hensarling said in a statement. “We have some members who believe the reforms go too far and we also have a host of conservatives who feel the reforms don’t go far enough. Washington is paying a lot of attention to one group’s concerns, but not enough attention to the other’s. That’s got to change if any TRIA bill is going to pass.”

Business groups have been lobbying for months to get TRIA reauthorized, arguing that the uncertainty will undermine renewal of annual insurance policies that come up for renewal, while Hensarling’s hard-line position on TRIA plays well with the Tea Party.

What It Means to Agents: There is still a chance that the House could take up TRIA before the August congressional recess, but that chance is fading fast.

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