Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., one of the senior Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, is giving up his seat in Congress to become head of the Managed Funds Association.
Baker, a former chairman of the Financial Services Committee’s Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee, has played a key role in matters such as the debate about whether to give insurers the option of choosing to be regulated by a federal agency.
Although Baker has served in Congress for 22 years, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., became the highest ranking minority member of the House Financial Services Committee when the Democrats gained a majority in the House after the 2006 elections.
Another lawmaker ended up serving as the highest ranking Republican on the capital markets subcommittee.
Baker’s departure is a “great loss” for both Congress and the House Financial Services Committee, says Jill Edwards, director of federal relations at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va.
“During his tenure, Congressman Baker’s extensive knowledge of complicated insurance markets has made him an invaluable asset in the debate over important issues to NAIFA such as insurance regulatory reform,” Edwards says. “He will be missed.”
Baker is the second Louisiana Republican to leave Congress during this term. Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-La., was sworn into office on Jan. 14 as governor of Louisiana.