By Kevin Cirilli - 12/01/14 07:58 PM EST
Forty-five House Republicans are urging House leadership to pass a long-term terrorism insurance (TRIA) reauthorization.
Congress must vote to reauthorize TRIA by the end of the year or the program shuts down.
The letter comes as Tea Partyers, led by House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), have pushed for reforms to the program, which allows the government to front the costs after a catastrophic attack.
Hensarling, who is not a signatory to the letter, and others argue that TRIA puts tax payers at risk and say that TRIA was pitched as a temporary government program in 2002 following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The letter was circulated by House Financial Services Committee member Stephen FincherStephen FincherRep. Fincher to retire Export-Import Bank takes step toward renewal Transportation deal includes Ex-Im renewal MORE (R-Tenn.), who is a member of the Tea Party caucus.
Hensarling has indicated that a short-term, six- to nine- month TRIA extension might be necessary in lawmakers can't agree to a reauthorization deal with reforms. Both BoehnerJohn BoehnerTop Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns The Hill's 12:30 Report Rep. Meadows to run for Freedom Caucus chairman MORE and McCarthy have said publicly that they'd support a short-term TRIA extension if Congress can't agree to a deal.
But the business community is balking at such a notion. And the 45 GOPers who signed Fincher's letter made that case to leadership.
"Businesses with terrorism coverage are being told that their coverage will end if Congress fails to act, causing the sort of uncertainty that hurts economic growth," the lawmakers wrote.
The letter shows the Republicans are divided on the issue.Business groups, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, supports a seven-year TRIA reauthorization bill that the Senate passed in July on a 93-4 vote.
Hensarling's panel approved a five-year reauthorization that included reforms that would increase the threshold for when the government would recoup the costs of most types of attacks from $100 million to $500 million.
The business community did not support the House bill and it didn't have enough Republican support so it wasn't brought to a vote.