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WASHINGTON, DC-The Mortgage Bankers Association of America has called on the senate again to pass the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, legislation that would create a federal reinsurance backstop, thereby capping property insurers’ pay-out responsibilities in the event of terrorism related damage. The bill, S.2600, finally made it on the Senate calendar for discussion May 13.

The US House of Representatives passed similar legislation late last year, so the burden is on the Senate. Without the institution of such a law, terrorism insurance will remain unavailable or too expensive for businesses.

“The Senate now has the opportunity to make one thing certain in this time of uncertainty–the assurance that a federal reinsurance backstop will be in place to help sustain economic growth and help protect the economy in the event of another terrorist attack,” MBA chairman James M. Murphy says. “We strongly urge the Senate to immediately pass the Terrorism Risk Insurance bill.”

On the first day of the discussions, Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid of Nevada urged his fellow senators not to hold up passage of the bill. “We want to have a bill that comes out of the Senate, and we are going to get one, one way or the other,” he said. “We hope it would be done with people cooperating, trying to improve the legislation; when they offer an amendment, and it does not pass, or it is tabled, that they do not start crying and say: Well, I am going to kill the bill then.

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