Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision Act of 2005

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


TERRORISM RISK INSURANCE REVISION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 17, 2005)

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hard work and the candor of the chairman of the committee. It really is disappointing. We did a good bipartisan effort here, put together a bill. There were some questions about it. It was a comprehensive bill and attacked a number of the issues.

What happened in the Senate was a travesty of the legislative process and a refusal finally by the chairman frankly of the committee to engage us at all. We are left with this Hobson's choice, in the literal sense, that is, no choice at all, that is, we have to pass this bill or else this program expires.

Unfortunately, a number of things were left out. We will hear from the gentlewoman from Florida about her important provision protecting people against unfair discrimination in their travel plans. One of the things that we will also hear is from the gentleman from New York (Mr. Israel). He worked hard with the families of 9/11.

Mr. Speaker, I will submit for the RECORD a packet of correspondence to and from the families. They wanted a commission to study this issue as part of this. They wanted representation. And the families of 9/11, after all, are the people out of whom this whole terrorism response grew, the victimization of their loved ones.

They asked for a commission. We in the House worked with them on a bipartisan basis. We have that commission. The Senate simply blatantly ignored them. And they tried. They appealed to the Senate and they appealed to the White House and they were turned away.

Group life is gone. This is kind of like, remember the old neutron bomb? It killed people and left the buildings standing. We have neutron terrorism insurance. It protects the buildings, but it ignores the people. It is both a travesty of the legislative process, what the Senate has done; and I have to say this, despite the fact that we got good bipartisan corporation here, and there were differences, we had differences where ideology got into play, but unfortunately there is a right wing ideological fundamentalism so entrenched in this Capitol in various places that that is why we do not have the kind of terrorism risk insurance bill we ought to have.

I believe in the market. I believe in the market's function, but we have people who believe in the market when it does not exist. And that is the case in terrorism insurance.

FAMILIES OF SEPTEMBER 11, INC.,

New York, NY, November 3, 2005.
Hon. MICHAEL G. OXLEY,
Chair and Co-Sponsor of the House TRIA Bill, House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.
Hon. RICHARD BAKER,
Co-Sponsor of the House TRIA Bill, House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.
Hon. BARNEY FRANK
Ranking Democrat, House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

DEAR REPRESENTATIVES OXLEY, FRANK and BAKER: The undersigned is Chairman of the Board of Families of September 11, Inc. (FOS11). FOS11 is a nonprofit organization founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The FOS11 mission is to raise awareness about the effects of terrorism and public trauma and to champion domestic and international policies that prevent, protect against, and respond to terrorist acts. Our members (over 2,000) reside in 48 states and 20 countries.

Soon after its founding FOS11 began analyzing and responding to issues raised by the Air Transportation Safety and System Security Act (the Act), of which the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund of 2001 (the Fund) forms a part, and subsequent legislation. In June of this year FOS11 submitted to the Justice Department its Final Report on the Fund, an Executive Summary of which was placed in the Congressional Record. In that report FOS11 expresses deep concern about the wide swath of immunity granted by the Act and subsequent legislation to public and private entities for the consequences of the September 11 attacks. We observe that the deterrent goals of our American compensation system--imposing the cost of harmful acts on those who could and should have, but did not, prevent them--were not achieved. Nor could they have been. The reason. The insurance industry had not (understandably) appreciated and analyzed the terrorist exploitable vulnerabilities of its insureds and the magnitude of the exposures and built the reserves and provided the limits necessary to pay the losses that resulted.

The FOS11 Final Report on the Fund concludes by urging Congress to:

a. use the perspectives of time and experience in implementation of the Victim Compensation Fund to consider carefully issues it was forced to address hastily in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001;

b. assess how well the rules adopted in 2002 to implement the legislation met Congressional intent;

c. consider the incentives and disincentives to reducing the risks of terrorist attacks implicit in the legislation; and

d. fashion legislation that will reduce those risks and ensure that victims of future terrorist attacks and their families are made whole.

Although FOS11 believes that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is not the long term solution to deterring and, if deterrence fails, paying for future terrorist losses, it does believe that it is a necessary bridge to comprehensive forward looking legislation that will allow the insurance industry to play the vital role of providing remedies to the casualties of future terrorist attacks and, through risk assessments and premium allocations, a safer America.

FOS11 joins the Defense Research Institute in its support of legislation that (1) extends TRIA until December 31, 2007, to ensure an orderly transition to a long term solution to the terrorism risk insurance questions and (2) provides for a Presidential Working Group or Congressional Commission to develop a viable and solvent program to succeed TRIA.

The unique perspective of FOS11 equips it well to participate in the creation of solutions to the complex accountability, responsibility, remedies and related prevention issues raised by the continuing threat of terrorist acts and the vital role insurance can (must) play in these solutions. We ask that FOS11 be a participant in this crucial debate.

Very truly yours,

Donald W. Goodrich,
Chairman of the Board.

--

FAMILIES OF SEPTEMBER 11, INC.,

New York, NY, December 12, 2005.
Re Preservation of the Commission approach in the Compromise Terrorism Risk Insurance Act that reconciles S. 467 and H.R. 4314.

Senator PAUL S. SARBANES,
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Washington, DC.

DEAR SENATOR SARBANES: Last week, Ron Robinson, Chair of the Defense Research Institute's TRIA Subcommittee and I met with most of the Senior Staff for Senators Shelby, Bennett, Dodd, and Kennedy and Representatives Oxley, Baker, Shays, Crowley, Israel and Maloney and of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees to listen and to debate the captioned matter.

Families of September 11 remains fu11y committed to a reconciliation of these two bills in favor of the mandate, membership and direct broad stakeholder participation in the House Commission approach. We also support adding each of the members of the Presidential Working Group to this Commission and a representative from Homeland Security, an actuary and a risk manager/modeler.

Unless Congress takes a leadership role by providing this neutral forum for all stakeholders to openly and ``face to face'' debate the complex and interdependent issues necessary for the insurance industry to play its traditional role, we will be no further along in two years than we are now. Congress's leadership is far more important than its dollars on this issue. We need to prepare, so that government will not be obliged to step in again, as it did following September 11, 2001. Failure to provide such a forum will increase the risk of future terrorist attacks and result in an unplanned and disproportionate government response at taxpayer expense.

Moreover, achieving viable, solvent and long term terrorism insurance that is driven by the private sector, but appropriately supported by government, is not a matter of resolving unilaterally one or a few simple ``insurance'' questions. The issues are many and touch every social, economic, and po1itical policy in our nation. Congress can use this Commission to lead the private sector stakeholders to a day when they will find it in their economic interests to reduce the risk of the next terrorist attack (sadly, there will be one) and have the resources, in the form of insurance, to respond to the losses. The compromise we support is a critical opportunity for loss mitigation and remediation at all levels of our society.

I urge you and your staff to work with your counterparts in the House to reach the Commission compromise Ron and I support. He and I have pledged our groups and ourselves to work as hard with the Commission to achieve this goal over the next year as we have with Congress to date on the terrorism insurability/risk transfer debate.

Very truly yours,

Donald W. Goodrich,
President

FAMILIES OF SEPTEMBER 11, INC.,

New York, NY, December 14, 2005.
Re Preservation of the Commission Approach in the Compromise Terrorism Risk Insurance Act That Reconciles S. 467 and HR 4314.

DEAR MR. HUBBARD: The undersigned is President of Families of September 11, Inc. (FOS11). FOS11 is a nonprofit organization founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The FOS11 mission is to raise awareness about the effects of terrorism and public trauma and to champion domestic and international policies that prevent, protect against, and respond to terrorist acts. Our members (over 2,000) reside in 48 states and 20 countries. Solvent and viable terrorism insurance is a weapon against terrorism and the matter in caption is vital to this goal.

Although FOS11 believes that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is not the long term solution to deterring and, if deterrence fails, paying for future terrorist losses, it does believe that it is a necessary bridge to comprehensive forward looking legislation that will allow the insurance industry to play the vital role of providing remedies to the casualties of future terrorist attacks and, through risk assessments and premium allocations, a safer America.

FOS11 takes no position on the insurance specific differences between the TRIA extension bills from the House and Senate now in informal conference, but it is fully committed to a reconciliation of those bills in favor of the mandate, membership and direct broad stakeholder participation in the House Commission approach. We also support adding each of the members of the Presidential Working Group contemplated by the Senate bill to this Commission and a representative from Homeland Security, an actuary and a risk manager/modeler.

Unless the White House takes a leadership role by supporting this neutral forum for all stakeholders to openly and ``face to face'' debate the complex and interdependent issues necessary for the insurance industry to play its traditional role, we will be no further along in two years than we are now. Leadership is far more important than dollars on this issue. We need to prepare, so that government will not be obliged to step in again, as it did following September 11, 2001. Failure to provide such a forum will increase the risk of future terrorist attacks and result in an unplanned and disproportionate government response at taxpayer expense.

Moreover, achieving viable, solvent and long term terrorism insurance that is driven by the private sector, but supported by sound government policies, is not a matter of resolving unilaterally one or a few simple ``insurance'' questions. The issues are many and touch every social, economic, and political policy in our nation. These policy issues need open and rigourous debate by a broad spectrum of perspectives in order that the private sector stakeholders will come to a day when they will find it in their economic interests to reduce the risk of the next terrorist attack (sadly, there will be one) and have the resources, in the form of insurance, to respond to the losses. The compromise we support is a critical opportunity to achieve loss mitigation and remediation at all levels of our society.

Solutions to the complex accountability, responsibility, remedies and related prevention issues raised by the continuing threat of terrorist acts and the vital role insurance can (must) play in these solutions are essential to the war on terrorism. I urge you and your staff to work with your, counterparts in the House and Senate to reach the Commission compromise FOS11 supports. Only with the cross debate and transparancy this type commission assures can full participation by the private sector in the war on terrorism here on our soil be achieved.

Very truly yours,

Donald W. Goodrich,
President.

Attachment: Letter from Representative Barney Frank dated December 9, 2005.

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, DC, December 9, 2005.
DON GOODRICH,
Chairman of the Board,
Families of September 11.
RONALD R. ROBINSON,
Chair, TRIA Subcommittee,
Defense Research Institute.

DEAR MR. GOODRICH AND MR. ROBINSON: I thank you for your support for the extension of the Terrorist Risk Insurance Act and for your constructive suggestion to not only have a Commission with broad membership, but also to include a representative of the victims of terrorism on the Commission. As you are no doubt aware, on December 7, 2005 the House passed legislation that includes those provisions by a vote of 371 to 49 and sent it to the Senate with a request for a conference.

We only have about 10 or 12 days to work out the differences between the two bills, and the Administration has expressed its opposition to the House-passed bill and will likely try to get the Senate to oppose compromising with the House. We will work hard to preserve the Commission and the inclusion of a victims' representative on it. I urge you to continue your efforts in support of the House provision, and I will work with you to be as persuasive with the Senate as you were with the House.
BARNEY FRANK.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

http://thomas.loc.gov

Skip to top
Back to top