One item left on the Senate’s to-do list this week is passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which expires at the end of this year, raising questions about the fate of some professional sporting events.
The bill, also known as TRIA, was first enacted after the 9/11 attacks as a way for the federal government to help insurance companies cover U.S. businesses in the wake of a terrorist attack. Some of the businesses aided by TRIA include professional sports organizations, like the National Football League, which need to have coverage for the stadiums and arenas their players and spectators use.
The debate over TRIA has even spurred rumors that the NFL might be forced to cancel the Super Bowl, one of the most popular sporting events of the year, if the legislation isn’t renewed. The NFL has shot down those rumors, saying the Super Bowl will go on as planned.
“The Super Bowl will be played,” Greg Aiello, senior vice president of communications for the NFL, told ABC News.
The Senate passed its own bipartisan bill to reauthorize TRIA in the summer, but the House passed a different measure last week that funds the program for six years and includes a provision that rolls back some limits placed on Wall Street banks in the Dodd-Frank reform bill.
That House measure faces an up-hill battle in the Senate this week as a few Senate Democrats oppose the inclusion of the Dodd-Frank language. On the Republican side, retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has threatened to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote.
"There may not be any TRIA until January, the next Congress. I'm OK with that," Coburn said, according to National Journal. "Quite frankly, I don't care whether TRIA happens or not. Because I believe that markets will fill in that void."
The NFL has teamed up with other prominent businesses, including the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, as part of the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism to lobby Congress to renew the measure by the end of the year.
The Senate is aiming to hold a vote on the measure before the session adjourns at the end of the week.