Washington==President George W. Bush this afternoon signedwithout comment or fanfare a two-year extension of the TerrorismRisk Insurance Act, just over a week before the controversialfederal reinsurance program was due to expire.

The bill signed by the President virtually tracked a scaled-downversion of TRIA extension passed by the Senate the week beforeThanksgiving, backed by the White House. The House ofRepresentatives passed a much more ambitious approach that wouldhave expanded TRIA's coverage and established different "silos" ofinsurer retentions depending on the line of business, but that billwas virtually dismissed out of hand in limited negotiations betweenHouse and Senate leaders.

The legislation will extend TRIA until Dec. 31, 2007, whilecutting the scope of its coverage.

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