The renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was killed dead by a single outgoing Senator, Republican Tom Coburn from Oklahoma. Although the bill was passed in the House of Representatives last week, it had to be either accepted as it was or rejected outright, because the House has now left for its break and will not reconvene until January.
Congress will now need to reintroduce the Bill in both the House and the senate when they reconvene in the New Year.
Coburn, in his final act as Senator, objected to a part of the bill that created a semi-federal licensing programme for insurance agents, permitting them to sell across US state lines. Coburn wanted states to be able to opt out of that programme. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid had said that there was no way for the bill to be sent back to the House before it expired at year-end.
The expiry at year-end is not armageddon. The House and Senate could act quickly after January 6th to reintroduce the Bill. However, it could re-open the disagreements over a last-minute modification inserted by Republicans that entailed modifications to Dodd-Frank, a move that Democrats opposed but which they had appeared to accept if that were needed to get the renewal through.