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Public Statements

Pass Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Reauthorization

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. MOORE. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of a clean Terrorism Risk Insurance Act reauthorization. Many of us on the House Financial Services Committee have worked on a bipartisan basis. Let me repeat that and let me emphasize that. We have worked on a bipartisan basis for more than a year to put a bill before this House that can pass. We have worked cooperatively because the lessons of 9/11 revealed to us the raw exposure that this country faces and our economy faces as insurers exited terrorism risk insurance after 9/11.

But, unfortunately, some other Members are working on a partisan basis to derail the terrorism risk insurance program. Now, unfortunately, this fringe minority is more interested in promoting antigovernment ideology than governing on behalf of the American people and securing for Americans a safe harbor in the event of nuclear, biological, chemical, or other acts of terrorism. The dysfunction of the Tea Party-driven agenda--it thrives on crisis after crisis, whether it is flood insurance or the debt ceiling or keeping the government open or passing a transportation bill. They just thrive on keeping this place in chaos.

And here we have, once again, some must-pass legislation. Terrorism risk insurance has bipartisan consensus, bicameral support, and how does the Tea Party-driven leadership in this House respond to the attempts to reason with them regarding the urgency of passing a clean reauthorization of TRIA without the unworkable triggers and the bifurcation provisions? What we get is an arrogant rebuff, channeling Dirty Harry: You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky?

Colleagues, this is not instructive. And be clear, colleagues, the Tea Party is not just symbolically throwing tea overboard, but their antigovernment agenda is again throwing the American economy overboard. I mean, we have real world knowledge of what happens if TRIA is not reauthorized.

Following the September 11 attacks, the insurance industry met their claims and liabilities related to the attacks, but quickly, reinsurers and primary insurers withdrew from terrorism risk insurance. The resulting lack of coverage led to the loss of 300,000 jobs as economic activity slowed without coverage.

You hear them say that they want more private capital in the market, but their bill has exactly the opposite impact by diminishing market capacity. In fact, the RAND Corporation estimates that the terrorism risk insurance saves the government and taxpayers money that otherwise would be spent on disaster assistance following an attack. In the case of an attack as destructive as 9/11, the study estimates TRIA saves the Federal Government $7.2 billion.

At this point, not even the majority of the Republican majority can have their voice heard in this House. I just don't understand why this House has to be constantly held hostage to a fringe minority of the majority that has no interest in governing.

I can tell you, Madam Speaker, that TRIA is the orderly response to a major terrorist attack. Why are we providing confusion, uncertainty, and partisanship to helping this country recover in the unthinkable event of another successful large-scale terrorist attack?

I hope that the voice of the American people prevails and a bipartisan TRIA bill can be brought swiftly to the floor.


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