Late on Friday, Dec. 20, President Trump signed a major appropriations measure, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, or H.R. 1865, to fund the Federal Government through Fiscal Year 2020. Included in this legislation was the “Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019” that reauthorizes the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for an additional seven years through 2027. The House approved H.R. 1865 on Dec. 17, and the Senate approved the bill on Dec. 19.
The language contained in H.R. 1865 is identical to H.R. 4634, that received overwhelming bipartisan support by the House of Representatives on Nov. 18, and S. 2877, which the Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved on Dec. 3. On Dec. 11, the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT) and several other groups sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), urging the Senate to pass the TRIA reauthorization bill as soon as possible. More recently, CIAT participated in discussions with congressional leadership to include the bill in the year-end spending measure.
The legislation made minor adjustments to several specific program dates contained in the prior law but preserved each of the underlying provisions that form the foundation of the prior program intact for an additional seven years. In addition, the legislation includes language directing an ongoing report regarding certain market conditions for terrorism risk insurance and requests a study and report on evolving cyber terrorism risks.
TRIA was established in the wake of 9/11 to provide a federal risk sharing mechanism to help insure against losses resulting from foreign and domestic terrorist attacks. CIAT, representing the insurance policyholder community, have been instrumental in previous reauthorizations that have resulted in a program that protects the taxpayer and limits the government’s exposure to only the most extreme terrorist events while preserving the availability of terrorism risk insurance in the current marketplace.
Bipartisan support to reauthorize TRIA this year was significant and strong in both the House and the Senate, and instrumental to resolving this issue a full year in advance of when the current program was scheduled to expire. CIAT commends the support from House and Senate leaders – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Sens. McConnell and Schumer – and most especially the efforts of House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), to achieve this result. This support is recognition of the critical stabilizing role TRIA has played in our society and economy in the nearly two decades since 9/11. CIAT believes the long-term commitment to TRIA that Congress has again demonstrated will continue to promote economic growth, provide certainty for commercial development and job creation across the county, while protecting the taxpayer, without the threat of any interruption.
View H.R. 1865 in its entirety, with the TRIA section beginning on page 493.