Maloney remarks at TRIA press conference
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) today participated in a press conference on the need to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters and other Democratic Members. Maloney’s prepared remarks follow:
“Thank you for joining us today. After 9/11, in New York, you couldn’t even get insurance for a hot-dog stand. Every major construction project was put on hold because they couldn’t get terrorism insurance, which brought the economy to a stand-still. But Congress came together to put our economy back on its feet by passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA.
“The goal of TRIA is to make terrorism insurance available and affordable. And by any measure, TRIA has been a resounding success — premiums for terrorism insurance have stabilized at affordable levels, and the economy has continued to grow.
“But TRIA is expiring in just four weeks, and we desperately need a long-term reauthorization of TRIA in order to provide certainty for businesses and to avoid another crippling blow to construction projects not just in New York, but all across the country.
“A short-term extension of TRIA is unacceptable — it would be as good as killing the program. Forty-five Republicans in the House have already signed a letter opposing a short-term extension of TRIA, and I can tell you that all the Democrats would oppose a short-term extension. So we need to focus on what kind of long-term extension of TRIA we are going to pass.
“One holdup in reauthorizing TRIA has been Chairman Hensarling’s insistence on $3.5 billion in budget cuts to pay for TRIA, even though the program pays for itself. But According to the House’s “Cut-Go” rule the revenues recouped from the insurance industry cannot be used to offset the cost of the program. This makes even less sense in light of the RAND Corporation study that shows that TRIA would save taxpayers money in the event of an attack.
“It’s important to note that the House has waived the “Cut-Go” rule 18 times already, and has traditionally waived it for emergency spending, which is exactly what TRIA is. It’s spending in the aftermath of a large-scale terrorist attack. So I think this is a red herring, and I think my colleague Senator Schumer is right to insist that this demand for $3.5 billion in budget cuts be dropped in the TRIA negotiations.
“If Chairman Hensarling drops these unrelated demands, then I’m optimistic that we can reach a deal on a long-term reauthorization of TRIA very soon. But time is running out, and if we can’t reach a deal on TRIA soon, then there’s really only one option — to put the bipartisan Senate bill on the floor. It passed 93-4 in the Senate, and if we put the Senate bill on the floor in the House, it would pass with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“Hopefully, we can reach a deal on TRIA soon — but if we don’t, the fallback isn’t a short-term extension, it’s the Senate bill. Thank you.”