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Politics & Money

House passes bill to reauthorize terrorism risk insurance program

And four other financial services bills

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019, a bill that will reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for seven years.

The bill, H.R. 4634, passed in a House vote of 385-22. It was previously passed unanimously in the House Financial Services Committee, where Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., introduced the bill.

“The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was enacted in the aftermath of the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks, which resulted in the largest insured losses on record from a non-natural event,” Waters said. “Insurance and reinsurance companies reeled from the losses, and terrorism risk insurance became unavailable or extremely expensive, complicating the recovery effort due to the importance of insurance in many business transactions.”

Treasury data show the program has been successful, with nearly 80% of all TRIA-eligible policies including terrorism risk coverage, and policyholders paying an average of only 2.5% of their total premiums for terrorism risk coverage.

The Senate Banking Committee will be considering identical legislation this week – S. 2877.

The housing industry is backing the legislation, saying it is vital to the health of the commercial and multifamily real estate finance sector.

“MBA commends the House for its overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of this legislation to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act program for seven years,” said Robert Broeksmit, Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO.

“The long-term extension of TRIA is vital to the health of the commercial and multifamily real estate finance sector and the nation as a whole,” Broeksmit said. “With $3.4 trillion in total mortgage debt outstanding, members of the commercial/multifamily real estate finance sector are important end users of the TRIA program and represent a large and integral part of the national economy.”

The house also passed four other financial services bills, including:

The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019 (H.R. 3702): A bipartisan bill that would permanently authorize the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief program and strengthen administration and oversight of the program to ensure disaster relief is distributed efficiently and equitably. This bill was introduced by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., and passed by a vote of 290-118.

The Tribal Eligibility for Homeless Assistance Grants Act of 2019 (H.R. 4029): A bill to address homelessness among Native Americans and Alaska Natives by making tribes and tribally designated housing entities eligible for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant funding. This bill was introduced by Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., and passed by a voice vote.

The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (H.R. 4300): A bill that would help to ensure that youth who are aging out of foster care and are at risk of homelessness will have critical assistance to help them achieve housing stability and self-sufficiency. This bill was introduced by Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Penn., and passed by a voice vote.

The Investor Protection and Capital Markets Fairness Act (H.R.4344): A bill that would substantially strengthen the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission to recover the wrongful gains of securities law violators for investors. This bill was introduced by Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, and passed by a vote of 314-95.

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