N.Y. Congressional Delegation Urges Renewal of Terrorism Insurance

July 7, 2005

Twnety-one bipartisan members of Congress from New York have signed a letter urging quick action on renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which the Bush Administration has opposed in its current form.

A day after Treasury Secretary John Snow notified Congress that the administration opposes the extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), a group of New York Members of Congress took action to ensure TRIA’s survival.

Led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the group sent a letter to Rep. Michael Oxley (R-Oh.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, requesting that he move forward promptly on pending legislation to extend TRIA, which will expire at the end of this year.

The New York delegation was responding to the release of a Treasury report on TRIA’s effectiveness, accompanied by an announcement from the administration that it will require substantial changes in any extension of TRIA.

TRIA requires property and casualty insurers to make available terrorism insurance and provides a government backstop covering 90 percent of insured losses, up to $100 billion each year, after set insurer deductibles.

“The effects of 9/11 and the threat of terrorism are not over by a long shot,” said Maloney. “Letting TRIA expire is unwise in the current climate. It would stunt economic development near Ground Zero and across the country. I hope Chairman Oxley will see this logic and act on the bill before the committee.”

In support of extending TRIA, the delegation letter noted the conclusion of the Treasury report that “the immediate effect of the removal of the TRIA subsidy is likely to be less terrorism insurance written by insurers, higher prices and lower policyholder takeup.”

Signers of the letter along with Maloney were John Sweeney (R), Gregory Meeks (D), Jerrold Nadler (D), Steve Israel (D), Nydia Velasquez (D-), Brian Higgins (D), Major Owens (D), Timothy Bishop (D), Eliot Engel (D), Carolyn McCarthy (D), Edolphus Towns (D), Jose Serrano (D), Vito Fossella (R), Sue Kelly (R), Joseph Crowley (D), Charles Rangel (D), Peter King (R), Maurice Hinchey (D), Gary Ackerman (D), and Anthony Weiner (D).

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