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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Senate Banking Chairman Johnson Calls for Bipartisan Support of TRIA Reauthorization

At yesterday's Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), Chairman Johnson (D-SD) urged his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support TRIA reauthorization.

During the opening remarks of the hearing, Chairman Johnson stated  “[after 9/11] Congress responded by creating the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program to provide a narrow and targeted government backstop for this insurance coverage.  The program proved helpful, creating certainty for many businesses, including developers, construction companies, commercial lenders, as well as private insurance markets...It is my hope that once again we will be able to find bipartisan consensus for the reauthorization of TRIA well before the program expires at the end of 2014....The program’s unique structure has fully protected taxpayers while promoting economic growth by preventing interruptions in insurance coverage and providing certainty for commercial property developers working on stadiums, universities, malls and other projects across the country."

Appearing before the panel were:
  • Mr. Peter Beshar, Executive Vice President and General Counsel Marsh & McLennan Companies;
  • Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan, Professor and Managing Director, Center for Risk Management and Decision Processes The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and
  • Mr. Robert Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute
There is no companion bill in the Senate to the House bill, HR. 508, endorsed by ABA and ABIA, that would reauthorize the program. ABA, ABIA and the ABA Securities Association submitted comments to the Treasury Department September 16, arguing for an extension of the program and endorsing the House bill.

The House has not yet scheduled a vote on this legislation.