Sunday, July 20, 2014

Senate Amends and Passes S 2244 – TRI Reauthorization

On Thursday the Senate took up S 2444, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014. Three amendments were considered on the floor of the Senate. Two were passed and one failed. The bill then passed by a solid bipartisan vote of 93 to 4.

Failed Amendment

The vote on the Coburn (R,OK) Amendment (SA 3549, CREC S4427) was actually a procedural vote that would have waived the Senate budgetary discipline rules to allow the Secretary of the Treasury to extend the insurance recoupment deadline in the event that the amount exceeded $1 billion in any given calendar year.

That procedural vote failed by a largely partisan vote of 48 to 49; three Democrats voted in the affirmative with the Republicans.

Lacking that waiver a vote on the actual amendment could not be held.

Adopted Amendments

The amendment by Senator Flake (R,AZ) (SA 3551, CREC S 4427-28) would establish a Federal Advisory Committee on Risk Sharing Mechanisms. The Committee would “provide advice, recommendations, and encouragement with respect to the creation and development of the nongovernmental risk-sharing mechanisms” {§8(b)(2)}.

The amendment passed on a vote of 97 to 0.

The final amendment did not, strictly speaking, actually deal with terrorism insurance. Sen. Tester (D,MT) proposed SA 3552 (CREC S 4428-32). It is actually an amendment of 15 USC 6751 et seq, revising the requirements for the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers. This amendment is essentially the bill that Sen. Tester introduced earlier in the session, S 534. While that bill had been voted favorably reported in Committee, it was likely that the bill never would have made it to a floor vote on its own.

The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Moving Forward

Last week there had been a possibility that one of the House introduced bills (HR 4871 was specifically mentioned on the Majority Leader’s web site) would have been voted on. It never happened and there is no mention of that bill, or S 2244, on the schedule for this week. With only one more week before the extended summer recess, it will be interesting to see if the House takes up this bill or passes HR 4871 and then substitutes the language for that in S 2244. Or they could just amend S 2244 or adopt it as is.

In any case, if any changes are made before the summer recess, the bill would be considered by a conference committee and the bill would probably make it through (even during an electioneering season) before the election recess.

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