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House To Get Federal Regulation Bill

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Advocates of major changes in the U.S. insurance regulatory system are about to unveil the House version of legislation that would let carriers choose between state and federal oversight.

Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., one of the sponsors of the Senate version, today said Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., are preparing to introduce an optional federal charter bill in the House.

Sununu made his comments in a speech at a meeting of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill.

Representatives for Royce and Kanjorski were not immediately available to comment on Sununu’s comments about the House optional federal charter bill.’

Sununu said he believes House lawmakers should introduce a bill with a broad focus and not try to limit access to the federal regulatory system to life insurers.

Sununu suggested that parties other than Royce and Kanjorski might be trying to encourage those lawmakers to limit the scope of the House OFC bill.

Pushing for the introduction of a narrow bill “suggests that the goal is just to get something passed, rather than a framework that works for thousands of consumers and the industry,” Sununu said.

Creating a federal regulatory system is important because of the increasing scale of the insurance industry, which stretches across national borders as well as state lines, Sununu said.

Sununu acknowledged that getting his bill, which he introduced with Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., passed will be a marathon rather than a sprint, but he said the bill will provide “a good platform for discussion in hearings of the Banking Committee that will take place this year.”


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