WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee approved a bill Tuesday to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for seven years.

The unanimous vote is the first step for legislation that is considered must-pass this year, before the program expires in December. The bill would extend the program, which provides a government backstop for insurers and reinsurers in the event of a terrorist attack, until December 2021. It also includes several tweaks designed to reduce the size of government's support, raising the mandatory recoupment threshold from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion and increasing insurers' co-pay from 15% to 20% after a deductible.

"I am pleased today that the Banking Committee unanimously supported this important bipartisan bill," said Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D. "This seven year extension of TRIA will continue to help promote economic growth and provide certainty for commercial property development and job creation across the country while protecting the taxpayer. With such a substantial bipartisan vote out of the Banking Committee, I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and plan to continue working with them to move the bill through the Senate in a timely manner."

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