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Senate Passes Terrorism Backstop Bill

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NU Online News Service, June 18, 7:22 p.m. – The U.S. Senate voted 84-14 today to pass S. 2600, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.

If enacted, the bill would give the federal government the authority to protect property-casualty insurers, but not life or health insurers, against catastrophic losses resulting from acts of terrorism.

Insurers would have to cover $10 billion in terrorism-related losses over the next two years. The federal government would cover 90% of the losses between $10 billion and $100 billion. Congress would have to decide what to do if losses exceeded $100 billion.

The secretary of the Treasury could extend the protection for a third year, but in that case the insurers’ deductible would increase to $20 billion.

The House has already passed a different version of the “terrorism backstop” bill, H.R. 3210. Members of the House and Senate must resolve the differences in a conference committee before they can send a final version to President Bush.

Details about the vote are posted temporarily at

More information about the bill, which was introduced by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is available at