• Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Passes House, Likely to Die in Senate
  • February 17, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • In the battle to avoid a government shutdown there were plenty of thorny issues for both chambers to wade through, but one issue in particular threatened to grind the entire effort to a halt: the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).

    TRIA was created in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks to provide a federal backstop to insurance claims that arise in the event of terrorist attacks. The battle over extending the program pitted Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer (D-NY) against House Finance Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). The debate over the future of the program became so contentious that it threatened to bring down the bill to fund the government. As a result, TRIA was splintered off to be dealt with separately.

    On Wednesday, after an agreement between Schumer and Hensarling was reached, the House passed a bill to extend the program through 2020 by a wide 417-7 margin. All seven no votes were from Republicans, even though many Democrats had objected to the inclusion of a provision that makes changes to the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill.

    The bipartisan deal provides for a six-year reauthorization and doubled the damage threshold to $200 million.

    Despite the overwhelming vote in the House, the extension is likely to die in the Senate.

    Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has pledged to object to the extension. His objection alone could kill the legislation because of the massive amount of work left to do in the Senate and the limited time left in this lame duck session.

    Coburn not only has problems with the TRIA program itself, but also objects to the addition of another rider to create a federal bureaucracy that would streamline licensing for insurance producers: the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act.