A picture of Representative Nydia M. Velázquez
Nydia V.
Democrat NY 7

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  • Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015

    by Representative Nydia M. Velázquez

    Posted on 2015-01-07

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    VELAZQUEZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.) Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank the gentlelady from New York for yielding.

    Today, I call on my colleagues to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, a public-private partnership that is vital to continued economic development across the country.

    Following the tragic events of 9/11, terrorism became uninsurable, the marketplace evaporated, and rates skyrocketed. Many businesses were impacted, causing job losses and hindering the recovery effort. To address the growing problem, Congress swiftly [[Page H71]] passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, creating a Federal backstop and restoring coverage.

    Today I can say without a doubt, our efforts were successful. I have witnessed firsthand how this program has substantially helped New York City recover and prosper over the past 12 years. The program has also tripled the number of small businesses nationwide that have terrorism protection. As a direct result of TRIA, over 60 percent of small firms carry some form of coverage.

    Some stakeholders have already reported disruptions since TRIA lapsed last week, especially in high-risk cities such as New York. It should be noted that the lapse is not only affecting insurance coverage, but also the financing efforts of many job-creating construction projects.

    Is this bill perfect? No, but it will restore certainty to the marketplace and prevent a rate spike that could force two-thirds of small businesses out of the market.

    Mr. Speaker, acts of terrorism remain too risky to cover for the vast majority of carriers, especially for the small- and medium-sized firms that dominate the insurance industry. As a result, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, which has not cost taxpayers $1, continues to be a vital component of our economic growth and national security.

    Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

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