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Rules Sends TRIREA Bill To Floor

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Members of the House Rules Committee voted 8-3 Tuesday to send H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007, to the House floor.

House leaders expect to bring the TRIREA bill up on the floor today.

The current Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is set to expire Dec. 31.

H.R. 2761, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., would extend the federal terrorism insurance program for 15 years and add protection for group life insurers.

The bill appears to have broad support in the House, but the group life provision and other provisions that would expand the scope of the terrorism insurance program appear to face some opposition in the Senate and strong opposition in the White House.

The later Congress sends a terrorism insurance bill to President Bush, the more leverage Bush will have to ask Congress to roll back any provisions that would expand the program, according to industry lobbyists who requested that their names not be used.

The House Rules Committee originally planned to look at the TRIREA bill early Tuesday.

The committee delayed action while House Democratic leaders debated how to respond to a Sept. 6 Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill. The analysis would have required Congress to raise $8.4 billion in revenue over 10 years or cut $8.4 billion in expenditures to comply with “pay as you go” budgeting rules.

The committee addressed the pay-go issue by adding a provision requiring Congress to pass a joint resolution to permit federal compensation under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, the original bill.

Congress would vote on a resolution, under fast-track procedures, after the secretary of Treasury certified, in concurrence with the secretaries of State and Homeland Security, that an act of terrorism had taken place.


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