The House Democratic leadership pulled from the floor late on Sept. 17 legislation that would create an Office of Insurance Information within Treasury.
Ironically, action was delayed just hours after the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson which said that in the wake of the government’s intervention in AIG, that the Bush administration should use its own authority to establish an Office of Insurance Information within Treasury.
The decision to pull the bill from the so-called “suspension calendar” was lambasted by Joel Wood, senior vice president of federal affairs at the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. The bill is H.R. 5840.
“In the aftermath of the federal government’s emergency $85 billion loan to AIG, it is disappointing and highly surprising that a misguided concern has been raised about this legislation by a freshman member,” Mr. Wood said.
“We are still confident that this bill will pass the House, but every concern about unjustifiable preemption of state law is specious,” Mr. Wood said.
“If anything, most people within the industry would argue that it doesn’t empower the federal government enough to fulfill its responsibilities to the national economy,” he said.
The decision was made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after Jackie Speier, D, the newly-elected congressman from a neighboring district, continued to voice concern about the potential impact of the bill on Proposition 103, and other state initiatives that retain a tight control on insurance rates and rules.
At the same time, the House did pass under expedited rules, legislation that would recreate the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers.
That bill, H.R. 5611, (the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2008 or NARAB Reform Act,) is designed to reform nonresident agent licensing.