WASHINGTON–House Democrats are moving on legislative action today designed to signal the Senate that some House provisions must be included in a final bill extending the federal backstop for terrorism risk insurance.
According to insurance industry lobbyists and a spokesman for Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., the revised bill will be taken up at noon today by the House Rules Committee, the gatekeeper for floor action, with floor action next Tuesday or Wednesday. A spokesman for Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the same thing.
The spokesman for Rep. Ackerman quoted the congressman as saying the goal is to put pressure on Senate lawmakers to negotiate with the House, especially since the current legislation, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act, expires at the end of the month.
“The indication we have from them is ‘take it or leave it,’ but that’s not going to happen,” the spokesman for Rep. Ackerman quoted the representative as saying. “We hope that this is sufficient and they accept it, but realistically the clock is running.”
Specifically, the compromise that will be proposed would accept the Senate 7-year time limit to the bill in place of the 15-year figure originally used by the House, and drop language in the current House bill adding coverage for nuclear, biological, chemical and radiation events.
But it will demand that the Senate accept the House “reset” provision, which benefits areas which have suffered prior terrorist attacks and reduces the “trigger” for federal involvement from the Senate $100 million to the House’s $50 million.
It will also add coverage for group life as well as include a provision limiting the cases where a life insurer can deny coverage to an applicant based on the applicant’s travel plans.
It will also accept the accelerated “pay-back” provisions included in the Senate bill.