In the First Week as Senate Majority Leader, McConnell Works to Pass Legislation that Benefits Kentucky

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell helped secure passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Authorization Act (TRIA), which includes a number of provisions important to Kentucky. The bill, which now goes to the President for his signature, is the first piece of legislation approved in the 114th Congress by the United States Senate, now led by Senator McConnell.

The passage of TRIA will extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which provides a federal reinsurance backstop to insurance companies that offer coverage of losses caused by terrorist attacks.

“As Majority Leader of the United States Senate, I am focused on getting the Senate functioning again and actually voting on and passing legislation again,” Senator McConnell said. “I have heard from many Kentuckians on this issue, and I was honored to use my new position to help get this legislation through the Senate.”

Greg Milward of Powell-Walton-Milward in Lexington explained why this is so important to Kentucky: “It is critical that the Senate passed the legislation to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. While Kentucky may not be considered a high target state, there are many public risks which attract large crowds and could be at risk such as Keeneland Race Track, Churchill Downs Race Track, Rupp Arena, Yum Center and so forth. In addition, many municipalities purchase the coverage to protect their property, and I thank Senator McConnell for his work to protect Kentucky with the passage of TRIA.”

Along with the six-year reauthorization come a number of fiscally responsible reforms, including an increase in the amount of losses that will trigger the federal backstop, an increase in private companies’ copayments, and an increased in the recoupment amounts that private companies must repay the federal government.

In addition, the TRIA legislation included the creation of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB), which will function to license producers of insurance to operate in multiple states without duplicating licensing requirements. According to Tommy Adams of the Charles M. Moore Insurance Agency in Bowling Green, this provision will benefit many small businesses in Kentucky: “The passage of NARAB will help my small business and others like it by eliminating duplicative licensing requirements and extra costs. I want to thank Senator McConnell for his work to help pass this common-sense legislation that will help agents and brokers in the Commonwealth continue to provide important coverage to Kentuckians.”

Finally, TRIA also included a provision that requires that at least one member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the body in charge of the nation’s monetary policy, have experience supervising community banks with less than $10 billion in assets. According to Ballard Cassady, CEO of the Kentucky Bankers Association (KBA), this is an important victory for Kentucky’s community banks and the clients they serve: “Requiring a member of the Federal Reserve to have community banking experience will help provide the much-needed perspective of the community bankers who provide such integral services to the Commonwealth. On behalf of community banks in Kentucky, KBA thanks Leader McConnell for helping ensure passage of this important provision, which will literally provide community banks a spot at the table.”

Related Issues: National Security, Back to Work