An eerie silence has descended over the White House and the Treasury Department as the administration prepares to release a report that will play a key role in the fate of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which expires Dec. 31.
The report by law must be in the hands of Congress by June 30.
The White House and Treasury are giving no hint as to what the report will say and when it will be released, although there is strong speculation it will be presented to Congress very soon.
Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, last week castigated the White House for lack of attention to the bill and the House Republican leadership for inaction.
Kanjorski warned that the industry might have to accept a series of 6-month extensions in order to win the two-year transition seen as the time period needed to develop a private market for terrorism risk coverage.
Kanjorski said leadership for extension from the administration is just “totally absent.” Among the administration deficiencies, he said, is the large number of vacant spots the administration has failed to fill among appointed posts at Treasury.
Kanjorski said there is nobody at the appointed level at Treasury to take the bill and marshal it through Congress. He said he hasn’t heard from President Bush on the bill at all and told his audience, “You may talk to the President more often than I do on TRIA.”