WASHINGTON BUREAU — The House Ways and Means Committee trade subcommittee apparently wants to exercise jurisdiction over a bill that could create a Federal Insurance Office.
The House Financial Services Committee, which has been working on H.R. 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009, today announced that it will delay action on the bill to consult with the trade subcommittee.
Any FIO bill that the Financial Services Committee approves will include a strong role for the U.S. Treasury Department in negotiating international insurance agreements, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the committee’s chairman, said today.
The Financial Services Committee has been preparing to “mark up,” or revise, H.R. 2609, but Frank said he had not had “appropriate conversations with members of the House Ways and Means Committee about the international preemption provisions.”
Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Ways and Means trade subcommittee, brought the matter to his attention, Frank said.
“I am delaying the markup to allow the appropriate conversations to take place,” he said.
Frank said he wants the Financial Services Committee to report legislation that will give the FIO the power to effectuate international agreements.
Action on the FIO bill will take place in a “a very short period of time,” Frank said.
Frank made the comments as his committee began marking up several pieces of financial services legislation other than H.R. 2609.
The American Council of Life Insurance, Washington, says in it “strongly supports enactment” of the prudential measures provision.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y., have been lobbying to limit the authority of the proposed FIO to preempt the authority of state insurance regulators.
The NAIC and NCOIL object to a provision that would let the Treasury Department enter into “international agreements on prudential measures.”