Lawmakers edge closer to deal on terrorism insurance

Lawmakers are close to reaching a deal on reauthorizing Congress's terrorism insurance program, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

The deal would reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for six years and double to $200 million the damage threshold at which government-backed insurance would be offered.


The threshold now stands at $100 million, and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and other critics have pressed for it to be increased to $500 million.

The program was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and is set to expire at the end of the year.

Pressure is building on lawmakers to reach a deal to extend the program, which is a priority for the business community and has supporters in both parties.

House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerMaryland Democrats target lone Republican in redistricting scheme GOP leader's marathon speech forces House Democrats to push vote Overnight Energy & Environment — Land agency move hurt diversity: watchdog MORE (D-Md.) on Thursday predicted a long-term extension would get 300 House votes, and urged GOP leaders to bring it to a vote during a discussion on the House floor with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP governor says McCarthy should condemn Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks With Build Back Better, Dems aim to correct messaging missteps GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (R-Calif.), who has been involved in the talks.

A spokesman for McCarthy said that a TRIA package could be up for consideration as early as next week.

Hensarling has argued that program puts taxpayers at risk for bailing out businesses after a terror attack that could cost billions.

He has pressed for a short-term extension that would expire next year, and give him a chance to enact further reforms.

Hensarling is negotiating with Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian MORE (D-N.Y.), who has maintained that any reforms to TRIA would hurt economic certainty because many banks require that businesses have terror insurance before obtaining loans.

Sources said discussions are on-going and that Schumer and Hensarling spoke on the phone earlier this afternoon.

Sources said it is possible the TRIA bill could be included in legislation Congress is expected to consider next week to keep the government funded.

The insurance industry could also nab two other small victories in the TRIA package.

The first would correct a mistake in a portion of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law. The portion of the law requires insurers to follow the same regulatory requirements as banks.

Lawmakers, as well as the bill's authors in both parties have said that including insurance companies under the same requirements was an error.

A second tweak that could be included in the TRIA package would allow for insurance agents to apply for registration with a national, non-profit clearing house. Current regulations require insurance agents to apply for registration in each state they want to practice, which the industry says is a regulatory burden.

Legislation introduced by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) on the issue garnered bipartisan support.