The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Senate passes terrorism insurance bill, the first cleared by the new Congress

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The Senate overwhelmingly passed a six-year extension of a terrorism insurance program Thursday, wrapping up work on an unfinished piece of business from the last Congress and sending the bill to President Obama for his signature.

The passage of the bill marked the first time legislation was cleared by both chambers of the 114th Congress. The bill passed the House on Tuesday Wednesday.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was signed into law in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks. It allows the government to serve as a financial backstop for businesses suffering losses due to catastrophic attacks.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment to the bill that would strip it of a provision that would alter the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. Warren's amendment failed.

Still, the move was notable, perhaps an early bit of evidence of newly minted Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's promise of an open amendment process in which lawmakers from either party should feel free to introduce alterations to bills. (Though Democrats were quick to point out that they allowed votes on GOP amendments to TRIA when they controlled the Senate.)

The bill passed the Senate 93-4. Warren voted against it. So did Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

TRIA was last renewed in 2007, expiring at the end of last year. Lawmakers had tried to pass a TRIA extension at the end of the 113th Congress, but it failed to get a vote as amid the rush to complete a flurry of year-end business.