Crowley Statement on Republicans’ Failure to Reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

Dec 17, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, In the Community

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement after Congress adjourned for the year without reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), a law that provides economic protections to both employers and employees working in areas at high risk of a terrorist attack:

“I am extremely disappointed Congress adjourned for the year without reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Federally-backed terrorism risk insurance was established in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to provide the certainty needed to allow for new investments and reconstruction in areas that may be at greater threats of a terrorist attack. The risk factors that led to the program’s creation are, unfortunately, as real today as they have been over the last 13 years.

“Terrorism risk insurance has never cost taxpayers a dime. What it has done is put in place a much-needed mechanism to ensure large-scale projects, such as the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, can move forward. Priority number one right now is growing our economy and creating more good-paying jobs. However, without the continuation of TRIA, we could very well see some needed private investments in our economy, particularly in New York City, left in limbo as developers weigh whether the financial risks are too great.

“The fact is, TRIA did not get reauthorized this year because of the unwillingness of House Republicans to act on this issue in a timely fashion, coupled with Senate Republicans blocking the legislation in the final hours of this congressional session – in short, a failure of Republicans to lead. I urge Republicans, who next year will control both chambers in Congress, to make the reauthorization of TRIA a top priority when Congress reconvenes in January.”

In the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks, Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) to ensure commercial terrorism insurance was both available and affordable. Enactment of the law helped to foster and ensure continued real estate and economic development in the United States, particularly in Lower Manhattan as New York City rebuilt from the attacks. In the 14 months after September 11, 2001 and before enactment of TRIA on November 26, 2002, $15 billion in real estate-related transactions were delayed or cancelled, and over 300,000 American jobs were lost. TRIA helped stabilize our economy by providing economic certainty without costs to taxpayers over the past 12 years. It has been reauthorized by widespread bipartisan agreement twice since its enactment, but is now set to expire on December 31, 2014.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.