Washington, D.C. – November 6, 2014 – In the wake of the midterm elections, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), along with more than 80 other hotel industry groups including hotel brands, management companies, real estate investment trusts REITs), owners and state hotel associations, called on the House of Representatives to get back to work and pass the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in a letter sent to House leadership.
AH&LA urged lawmakers to focus on the immediate priorities, including passage of this vital piece of legislation, which is critical to protect job and economic growth within the hotel industry and across the broader economy. More than 80 groups joined AH&LA in signing the letter, which was sent to every member of the House of Representatives in addition to House leadership.
“Now that the long campaign season is over, the House of Representatives must immediately move to reauthorize TRIA as soon as they return to Washington. This program protects future development projects and provides security that hoteliers need to grow and create jobs. Together, we urge Congress to follow through on their campaign promises to create jobs by passing this bill. The Senate did what was necessary and passed a bipartisan, comprehensive bill with overwhelming support. It’s now time for the House to take action and pass a similar bill that both maintains a strong, effective program and extends it on a multi-year basis,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
The United States Senate passed TRIA in July by a vote of 93-4. This bipartisan legislation provides a vital backstop for insurance coverage in the case of a terrorist attack. The program was reauthorized in 2005 and 2007. The Senate bill reauthorizes the program for seven years.
The full text of the letter is below.
November 5, 2014
Speaker of the House John Boehner Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
Speaker Boehner, Democratic Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader McCarthy, and Democratic Whip Hoyer,
As the 113th Congress comes to a close, it is absolutely imperative that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (“TRIA”) be reauthorized on a long-term basis before its expiration on December 31, 2014, without dismantling the fundamental components of the program. TRIA is vital to the hotel industry, the broader real estate sector, and the entire U.S. economy. A multi-year reauthorization is essential, as the uncertainty caused by a short-term extension would needlessly imperil our industry and the economic recovery.
This issue is not a theoretical one for our members. Several hotels were destroyed or heavily damaged on September 11, 2001, and our economy was paralyzed, in part because businesses could not obtain terrorism insurance even though it was required by lenders who funded development.
The creation of TRIA addressed this issue by providing for public-private cost-sharing in the event of catastrophic terrorist attacks, with the recoupment of federal payments so taxpayers are protected. Unfortunately, the threat of terrorism remains real, and we must be prepared to keep the economy going in the event of another major attack.
TRIA is intended to provide stability to the economy and assure investors and developers, as they plan long-term projects, that insurance will be available to adequately protect their properties against the financial risk of a terrorist attack. However, a short-term extension creates uncertainty as to whether TRIA will still exist as these projects move forward. More specifically, a short-term extension undermines the ability of businesses, including hotels, to secure the long-term funding needed to build new properties or renovate existing ones, because if insurance is not available or affordable, developers cannot meet the mandate from lenders to carry it. Indeed, we have already seen insurance capacity begin to constrict due to the current uncertainty regarding reauthorization, and a short-term extension would only serve to exacerbate rather than quell this uncertainty. Consequently, a short-term extension will hinder economic growth and job creation.
In July, the Senate voted 93 to 4 to reauthorize TRIA for seven years, while making meaningful reforms to the program to further protect taxpayers. We are confident that House passage is achievable if prudent modifications are made to the committee-reported legislation. The time is now to act on a multi-year reauthorization of TRIA.
American Hotel & Lodging Association Aimbridge Hospitality (Dallas, TX) Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance Alaska Hotel & Lodging Association Apple Hospitality REIT (Richmond, VA) Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association Arkansas Hospitality Association Ashford Inc. (Dallas, TX) Best Western International (Phoenix, AZ) B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group (Bethesda, MD) California Hotel & Lodging Association Carlson Rezidor Hotels (Minnetonka, MN) Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association Columbus Hospitality Management (Columbus, OH) Connecticut Lodging Association Crow Holdings Capital – Real Estate (Dallas, TX) Davidson Hotels & Resorts (Atlanta, GA) Destination Hotels and Resorts, Inc. (Englewood, CO) DiamondRock Hospitality Company (Bethesda, MD) FelCor Lodging Trust (Irving, TX) First Hospitality Group, Inc. (Rosemont, IL) Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association G6 Hospitality LLC (Carrollton, TX) Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association Hersha Hospitality Trust (Philadelphia, PA) Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (Hershey, PA) Hilton Worldwide (McLean, VA) Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (Bethesda, MD) Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. Hotel Association of Washington DC Hotel Equities (Atlanta, GA) Hyatt Hotels Corporation (Chicago, IL) IHG Owners Association (Atlanta, GA) Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association InterContinental Hotels Group (Atlanta, GA) Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (Arlington, VA) La Quinta Inns & Suites (Irving, TX) Las Vegas Sands Corp. (Las Vegas, NV) LaSalle Hotel Properties (Bethesda, MD) Loews Hotels (New York, NY) Louisiana Hotel & Lodging Association Lowe Enterprises, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) Maine Innkeepers Association Marriott International, Inc. (Bethesda, MD) Massachusetts Lodging Association Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association Milestone Hospitality Management (Baltimore, MD) Minnesota Lodging Association Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association Moody National Companies (Houston, TX) Nebraska Hotel & Motel Association Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association New Castle Hotels and Resorts (Shelton, CT) New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association New York Hospitality & Tourism Association North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Northcott Hospitality and AmericInn (Chanhassen, MN) Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (Bethesda, MD) Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association PM Hospitality Strategies, Inc. (Washington, DC) Rhode Island Hospitality Association RLJ Lodging Trust (Bethesda, MD) Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (Orlando, FL) Schahet Hotels (Indianapolis, IN) South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (Stamford, CT) Summit Hotel Properties (Austin, TX) Sunstone Hotel Investors (Aliso Viejo, CA) Tennessee Hospitality Association Texas Hotel & Lodging Association Utah Hotel & Lodging Association Vantage Hospitality Group, Inc. (Coral Springs, FL) Vermont Chamber of Commerce Vesta Hospitality (Vancouver, WA) Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association Washington Lodging Association Watermark Capital Partners, LLC (Lake Forest, IL) West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association White Lodging Services Corporation (Merrillville, IN) Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association CC: All Members of the House of Representatives
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.