Today, at a press conference to discuss the reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following opening remarks.
As Prepared for Delivery
I am very pleased to be here with my colleagues to discuss the reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)
The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was signed into law in the aftermath of the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks, which resulted in the largest insured losses from a non-natural disaster on record, making terrorism risk insurance coverage unavailable or extremely expensive. TRIA corrects this market failure and keeps terrorism insurance coverage affordable and available by creating a federal backstop in the event of another attack. Over the years, Congress has enacted several reforms to increase the private sector share of risk to the point that in the event of another terrorist event similar in size to 9/11, the private sector would bear 100% of the losses.
Nearly two decades after TRIA was enacted, TRIA has thankfully never been triggered, and the program is working as intended, effectively protecting our economy from the costs of a terrorist attack and providing security for many of our nation’s hospitals, stadiums, schools and small businesses. As Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure a long-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program.
Without a reauthorization, the program would expire at the end of 2020, but we could experience the harmful effects of a failure to reauthorize as soon as January of 2020.
And so, I am pleased to put forth H.R. 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019, a bill that provides a ten-year clean reauthorization of TRIA.
As the broad group of cosponsors for H.R. 4634 shows, reauthorizing TRIA for the long term is not a regional issue or a partisan issue. Terrorism risk insurance is utilized at similar rates across the country. There is a 74 percent take up rate in the Northeast, 82 percent in the Midwest, 76 percent in the South, and 82 percent in the West.
So this is an important step that has bipartisan support from Members who represent different areas across the country. I thank the Members who have cosponsored the bill, and invite all Members to join me in supporting the legislation.
As a next step, we have a Subcommittee hearing this afternoon where we will discuss this bill. Then, I intend to move forward with full Committee consideration of the bill at a markup in October. I am committed to bringing the bill to the floor soon afterward, and I will be exploring vehicles for the bill to be attached to.
Thank you again for joining us.
H.R. 4634 is supported by over 300 organizations and sponsored by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), David Scott (D-GA), Al Green (D-TX), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Jim A. Himes (D-CT), Bill Foster (D-IL), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Denny Heck (D-WA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Al Lawson (D-FL), Cindy Axne (D-IA), Ben McAdams (D-UT), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Alma Adams (D-NC), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Peter T. King (R-NY), Lee M. Zeldin (R-NY), and Lance Gooden (R-TX).
Today’s press conference included remarks by Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, Representative Al Green (D-TX), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).
Following the press conference, the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance and the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy convened a joint Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Protecting America: The Reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program.”