Fending off another effort by Senate Republicans to push through an estate tax reform bill will be the focus of the life insurance industry when Congress returns to work Sept. 5, after a month-long recess.
The industry will be aided in its effort to defeat passage of estate tax reform by the fact that Congress is expected to remain in session only until Sept. 29.
Congressional leadership is planning such a short session–with only 10 to 12 legislative days scheduled–because members want to race home to persuade the voters to send them back for another term.
Other industry issues likely to be taken up by Congress during that period are another hearing on insurance regulatory issues by the Senate Banking Committee, and House floor action on legislation that simplifies state oversight of multi-state surplus lines and reinsurance.
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“We understand the Senate Banking Committee is considering another hearing on the optional federal charter issue in the fall,” said Jack Dolan, a spokesman for the American Council of Life Insurers. He said a decision on a hearing could be announced as early as this week.
There is also a strong possibility that Congress will return in mid-November for a lame duck session aimed at completing work on appropriations bills and other must-do legislation that couldn’t be completed before the Sept. 29 recess date.
The industry’s agenda is modest for the September session because Congress acted on the life insurance industry’s priority–passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which amends parts of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act–before it departed for a month-long recess Aug. 5.