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White House Renews Threat To Nix Expanded Terror Backstop Bill

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House Democrats today faced new pressure from the White House and House Republicans to accept the Senate version of a bill that would extend federal terrorism risk insurance protection.

The current terrorism risk insurance program is set to expire Dec. 31.

The House bill would amend a version of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007 that the Senate passed by a unanimous vote Nov. 16.

White House officials have indicated that President Bush would sign the Senate terrorism risk program bill, which would exclude group life insurance and protection against events involving weapons of mass destruction.

Members of the House are trying to put group life protection back in.

The Bush administration “strongly opposes” any amendments to the Senate version of the bill and will recommend that Bush veto the bill if any changes are made, officials at the Office of Management and Budget said this morning.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., the most senior Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Republican colleagues on the committee Monday indicating that he will oppose any amendments proposed by House Democrats when the bill comes to the House floor.

“Based on the feedback we have received from [other Republican members of the committee], a majority of Republicans will be voting against this bill,” Bachus writes in the letter.

“While I encourage all members to vote their conscience, I will be voting against Chairman [Barney] Frank’s bill in order to avoid further delay in renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act before the program expires Dec. 31,” Bachus writes.

“Consistent with our previous position, the Senate compromise is closer to the legislation we Republicans advocated in the House,” Bachus writes.


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