Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) said the 114th Congress should immediately pass the reauthorize of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).
Next year’s Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said a vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline is his top priority, but that was before Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) blocked the Senate from passing a TRIA reauthorization just before the Senate adjourned for the year.
“Senator McConnell can bring TRIA up on the first day of the new Senate and I hope he will, since there is no time to waste,” Reid said Wednesday. “A clean TRIA bill, like the one that passed the Senate with 94 votes earlier this year, would pass the Senate quickly. Every day that goes by without TRIA poses unacceptable levels of risk to cities like Las Vegas.”
The federal program creates a backstop for the insurance industry in the case of a terrorist attack. It was created after 9/11 and helps ensure major sporting venues and large cities can reinvest after an attack.
Earlier in the year, the Senate passed a bipartisan reauthorization worked out by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), but House Republicans didn’t like that bill and insisted on adding riders to the bill.
“House Republicans sat on a bipartisan bill, carefully negotiated between Democrats and Republicans, that passed the Senate 93-4 back in July,” Schumer said Wednesday. “Then, after repeated warnings from the Senate that loading up a bill with extraneous and unrelated riders at the last minute could cause terrorism insurance to lapse, the House GOP went down that perilous path, only to be blocked by a member of their own party. This outcome was as foreseeable as it was avoidable.”
Republicans will control the upper chamber next year and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has retired, so the bill could come up again.