Senate Republicans have changed the committee assignment of a lawmaker who has helped lead efforts to create a federal insurance regulatory system.

Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., will be moving to the Senate Finance Committee, from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, officials say.

Sununu and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., are the primary sponsors of S. 40, “The National Insurance Act of 2007,” a bill that would give insurers the option of choosing between a state charter and a federal charter.

The Senate Finance Committee has taken an interest in changing the federal estate tax laws, in expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and in overseeing the Medicare Advantage program.

The committee has not played an active role in optional federal charter efforts.

Senate Republicans moved Sununu to the Finance Committee to fill a void left by the departure of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Sen. Robert Corker Jr., R-Tenn., a commercial real estate developer, will succeed Sununu on the Banking Committee.

Earlier this week, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said their committees would hold hearings on proposals to create an optional federal charter system.