The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation that would reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and repeal the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac tax,” all as part of government funding legislation.
“The Big ‘I’ would like to thank the U.S. House of Representatives for bringing our independent agents a trifecta of early Christmas gifts this year with the passage of government funding legislation that includes a long-term reauthorization of TRIA, an extension of the NFIP and a repeal of the ‘Cadillac tax,’” says Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “The Big ‘I’ especially wants to thank Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Connecticut) and Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) for their years of hard work that has led Congress to the brink of repealing this onerous tax. Without repeal, this harmful tax would hit many of our small business members and their clients starting in 2022 and over time would affect more and more individuals because the tax threshold is tied to a slow measure of inflation. This snowball effect would do irreparable damage to the employee benefits marketplace.”
This bipartisan agreement between House and Senate leaders would fund the government until September 30, 2020. It would also reauthorize several important programs including TRIA and the NFIP. TRIA was scheduled to expire at the end of 2020 and will be extended for seven additional years in this package. The NFIP was scheduled to expire in a matter of days on December 20. This legislation would extend the program through September 30, 2020. Additionally, this package included a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac tax,” which would have imposed a 40% tax on health benefits that exceed an established annual cost.
“The Big ‘I’ would like to thank Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-California) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) for their hard work throughout the year on reauthorizations for both TRIA and the NFIP,” says Charles Symington, Big “I" senior vice president of external, industry and government affairs. “TRIA is vitally important to maintaining the strength of the commercial property-casualty insurance market and would provide much-needed stability to the U.S. economy. Due to the nature of insurance contracts, we are especially grateful the program was reauthorized well in advance of its scheduled expiration at the end of next year. The fact that it is a seven-year extension will bring additional confidence to the marketplace. The Big ‘I’ also appreciates the extension of the NFIP. Given recent short-term extensions that lasted in some cases only weeks at a time, the Big ‘I’ is thankful for the certainty this legislation provides through September of next year. We also call on Congress to continue their efforts on a multi-year reauthorization to modernize the program.”