The National Association for Registered Agents and Brokers legislation passed the U.S. Senate Thursday as an amendment to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, known as TRIA (S. 2244).

NARAB II would establish a federal clearinghouse to cut through the red tape of state-by-state broker and agent licensing. It was introduced as an amendment (S. Amdt. 3552) by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and is included, also as an amendment, on similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 4871), where it has yet to be voted upon.

See related: This industry group plans to lobby hard for NARAB II

“It’s clear there is tremendous support in Congress for passing NARAB II this year,” said Insured Retirement Institute president and CEO Cathy Weatherford in a statement following the vote. The Big “I” Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America spokesman echoed this sentiment and praised the Senate for passing the amendment, but noted concern about a sunset provision — a clause that renders legislative language null after a certain date. According to the bill, the provision date is Oct. 1, 2019.

“While the amendment contains a ‘sunset’ provision that the Big ‘I’ would like to see changed before the measure is enacted into law, it was critically important to move the bill forward in the legislative process. We look forward to working with the Senate and House on final passage of NARAB to send this common-sense legislation to President Obama’s desk as soon as possible,” said Charles Symington, senior vice president of external and government affairs.

This is a positive step forward for NARAB II, which was previously attached to flood insurance legislation that passed in the Senate but was dropped from the version that passed the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law.

See related: National broker licensing bureau gets silent treatment from Congress

At a meeting of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors several months ago, the organization discussed the importance of passing this legislation to cut down on advisers’ administrative time and resources during the licensing process and also explained that this is not a federal takeover. “If you’re licensed in a state, you’re still subject to all that state’s laws. The commissioners and regulators do not lose authority,” said Jill Hoffman assistant vice president of federal government relations at NAIFA. There will be no requirement for brokers to join the NARAB organization if passed. But, in order to gain membership, brokers will have to undergo a federal background check.

TRIA was initially passed in 2002 to ensure that insurance carriers can continue to issue policies and accept claims, with a backstop of federal funding, following an act of terrorism. The current bill is set to expire in December, so reauthorization action by the House will be watched closely by the industry.

Thursday’s vote in the Senate on TRIA and the NARAB II amendment was 93-4.

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