The insurance bill, S. 637, would allow nonprofit insurance programs like the California Earthquake Authority to use federal loan guarantees to lower the cost of earthquake insurance.

Feinstein and Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerFeinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Becerra formally nominated for Calif. attorney general 10 freshmen to watch in the new Congress MORE (D-Calif.) also introduced a bill, S. 646, that would reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, which expired in 2009. The program began in 1977, and the two senators said it has led to "significant improvements in earthquake research and prediction and infrastructure preparedness."

"This critical legislation will help safeguard our communities by developing new ways to monitor and prepare for devastating natural disasters, including earthquakes," Boxer said.

Also on Thursday, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) introduced a bill aimed at improving international cooperation on the issue of nuclear safety.