President Bush today signed a Terrorism Risk Insurance Act bill that will extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop program until the end of 2014 but will leave out group life.

The bill, H.R. 2761, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, will add coverage for domestic terrorist events to the program.

The bill also adds a provision that will require the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study the risks associated with terrorist attacks involving nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.

The bill that has authorized the TRIA program expires Monday.

The Senate passed H.R. 2761 Nov. 16.

Members of the House originally had passed a longer TRIA extension bill that included protection for group life insurers and protection against WMD attacks.

Bush had threatened to veto the House version of the TRIA extension bill.

The House passed H.R. 2761 Dec. 18, after House Democratic leaders criticized the Senate and vowed to take another look at the terrorism insurance program in 2008.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, reacted to the signing of H.R. 2761 by repeating an earlier statement suggesting that the veto threat made the effort to add group life to the TRIA program an uphill battle.

“We appreciate the efforts of members on both sides of the aisle and in both the House and the Senate who worked so hard to include group life in TRIA and protect people as well as buildings,” the ACLI says.