House to Move TRIA Bill Separately

McCarthy and the House GOP plan to move a separate terrorism insurance bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
McCarthy and the House GOP plan to move a separate terrorism insurance bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted December 9, 2014 at 1:20pm

In a gambit to jam the Senate, House Republicans are moving ahead with a standalone Terrorism Risk Insurance Act bill they intend to pass in the coming days, taking TRIA out of cromnibus negotiations and risking the program’s future.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, TRIA was one of the major remaining roadblocks in cromnibus negotiations, with House Republicans insisting on changes to the Dodd-Frank Act that would alter collateral rules for certain companies trading derivatives.  

According to an aide for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House is now moving forward with a plan to pass a separate TRIA bill and take the issue out of cromnibus negotiations. The House Rules Committee posted language of the TRIA bill Tuesday afternoon.  

With the House and Senate unable to come to a compromise on TRIA, House Republicans are hoping they can force the Senate’s hand by passing the terrorism risk insurance legislation with their Dodd-Frank changes.  

But as of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear whether such a tactic would work — or whether it would derail TRIA.  

“This is an attempt to kill the bill, pure and simple,” a Senate Democratic aide told CQ Roll Call. “Adding in an extraneous, unrelated Dodd-Frank issue that Democrats, and the administration, oppose to a bipartisan TRIA bill that has been carefully negotiated puts the future of TRIA in doubt.”  

But a House Republican aide disagreed with that characterization.  

“The Democrats’ ideological and irrational zeal for Dodd-Frank is holding up a long-term reauthorization of TRIA,” the aide said. “Our side is trying to get a clarification — not a change — on Dodd-Frank’s treatment of manufacturers, ranchers and farmers. Even Barney Frank and Chris Dodd tried to clarify during colloquies that Congress never intended to impose margin requirements on end-user derivatives transactions.”  

The aide noted that 181 House Democrats had joined all Republicans in voting for a bill that would make those derivatives changes.  

Still, the Senate will have limited time to act on TRIA — if it acts at all. The House had yet to file cromnibus language with less than 60 hours until government funding runs out, and action in the Senate on anything could be held up for days with procedural motions, further complicating an already tight timeline before a government shutdown.