Reports from Washington, D.C. today indicate that Capitol Hill may be finally closing in on a potential compromise to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 or TRIPRA.
As we have previously reported, the US Senate on July 17th, in a vote of (93-4), passed a bill (S.2244) sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to extend TRIPRA, with minor modifications. However, no similar legislative proposal was moved through the House due to firm opposition to the continuation of the program by key members of the House Financial Services Committee.
With Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) stating as recently as this week that program extension would “violate House spending rules,” a compromise seemed unlikely. He further went on to say that “if Senate Democrats continue to insist on their ‘my way or the highway’ approach … a long-term reauthorization may have to wait until the next Congress.”
With Congress adjourning on the 11th of December, many have predicted a temporary, short-term extension which would achieve just that.
Nonetheless, initial reports of discussions held today between Chairman Hensarling, Senator Schumer, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other key members seem to indicate that a deal may be close to finalization, extending TRIPRA for six years, incrementally increasing the program threshold to $200 million (from the current $100 million) and the coinsurance percentage to 20% (currently 15%).
Many other provisions have yet to be negotiated, and it is not apparent how the dispute over the funding of the bill will be resolved. There may also be a bifurcation between program thresholds for nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological events and those deemed as “conventional terrorism.”
While these encouraging signs signal movement away from the determined position of key House leadership, we caution that negotiations are still ongoing. While agreement on the key points may be imminent, there is still the possibility that the extension could not ultimately be finalized before the end of the current session.
We will keep you advised of further developments.