NU Online News Service, March 15, 2004, 6:11 p.m. EST, New York – Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, told insurance commissioners here that federal lawmakers are thinking about a “federal tools” approach to congressional oversight.[@@]
Oxley delivered the address during the Commissioners Roundtable at the spring meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.
The meeting was closed, but interviews with regulators who heard Oxley suggest that the House Financial Services Committee, the committee that Oxley chairs, will not support a bill that would establish a federal charter, a federal regulator or a dual state-federal regulatory system.
The committee plans to consider federal insurance oversight March 31.
Oxley said Congress might develop federal regulatory tools that would build on work already being done by the NAIC. According to the regulators who heard the speech, the government could set up a federal coordinating council and name a federal appointee to head the council, but such an appointee would have no regulatory authority. State regulators would still be considered the experts on insurance regulation.
Oxley contemplates a “full federal-state partnership,” and he singled out the “excellent work” of the regulators developing the State Electronic Rate and Form Filing System and the interstate compact for life insurance product filing, regulators said.