U.S. House leaders may have hurt efforts to add group life to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act by referring an extension bill to the Judiciary Committee.[@@]
The House Financial Services Committee voted 64-3 before Thanksgiving to approve H.R. 4314, a TRIA extension bill that includes group life, and supporters had hoped that the bill would go to the House floor early next week.
The current version of TRIA, which excludes group life, is set to expire Dec. 31. Time for extending the program is short because Congress wants to end its current session Dec.17.
When the Judiciary Committee considers H.R. 4314, it could add provisions backed by the White House and opposed by some Senate Democrats that would limit the ability of terrorism victims to collect lawsuit damages from the TRIA program.
Earlier, an insurance industry lobbyist who requested anonymity called the tort reform provisions a “proxy for those who want TRIA to expire.”
“Tort reform will never be accepted by the Senate,” the lobbyist said. “As much as everyone in the industry supports tort reform, it is more important that we get this bill completed.”
Meanwhile, the White House is backing a simpler Senate TRIA bill that excludes group life.