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WASHINGTON, DC-A high-level US Department of the Treasury official has gone on the record to back up real estate industry organizations’ claims that the absence of a federal terrorism insurance backstop is damaging the national economy by hindering property development. “The people who say there isn’t [a problem] aren’t looking at commercial real estate and are not looking at new development projects and are not thinking about the problems that could occur with another attack,” Treasury Department undersecretary for domestic finance Peter R. Fisher said in a recent interview.

Fisher’s comments come on the heels of President Bush’s statements at the recent Presidential Economic Forum where he remarked upon the approximately $8 billion in commercial construction endeavors that have fallen by the wayside since Sept. 11 due to a lack of terrorism coverage. “I want to get American construction workers back to work and that’s why we need to have a terrorism insurance policy,” Bush said, continuing his call to Congress to pass relevant legislation expeditiously. “I want those who wear the hard hats, who are willing to take risks by suspending themselves above the land, by building commercial projects that are significant in size, I want them working.” Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives are expected to hash out the differences between their respective bills in conference upon their return from summer recess next month.

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