Congress is back in session after its August recess, but it doesn’t seem like there will be much on the agenda that affects the life insurance business.
Actually, that’s good news. Sometimes being below the radar is the best place of all to be.
This is especially so for an industry when a major piece of legislation has passed which had many provisions that it keenly desired. This can aptly describe the Pension Protection Act of 2006, legislation for which the industry fought long and hard.
Since Congress often finds a means to taketh away with one hand what it giveth with the other, there is a certain amount of breath-holding going on in various precincts of the business because the industry got so much of what it wanted in the PPA.
Of course, the industry will still have to contend with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist lobbing his little estate tax reform grenades at every possible opportunity. If only the man’s stick-to-itiveness were used on behalf of something that was truly deserving of legislative approval, Frist would be a world-beater. As it is, he’s hardly managed to concoct a meringue, for all his trying.
But even here, this is not solely the industry’s problem.
The other thing that will probably keep trouble from the industry’s door in the rest of this session is that the session itself will be drastically abbreviated. The likelihood is that Congress will meet only until the end of September, when the members will rush out to the hustings to prove to the voters why they should be returned to that great domed structure at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
I guess it is possible to speak about an abbreviated session of Congress without any irony, but I think you would have to be totally lacking in that most Greek of perspectives in order to do so.
Huff and puff as they may, our legislators are managing to do less and less in the fewer days they actually meet. Come to think of it, this may not have anything to do with irony. It could just be simple math.