There will be no federal regulation of insurance–for now. The House Financial Services Committee voted December 2 to create the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), which is to be housed within the U.S. Treasury Department. The Committee also passed December 2 the Financial Stability Improvement Act (H.R. 3996) by a straight party line 31-27 vote. Both of these bills now go to the full House floor.
As Washington think-tanks note, the Financial Stability Improvement Act is the last major component of House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank’s reform package. It is expected that the full House will start debating on December 9 all financial services reform measures–including the aforementioned bills passed December 2–with final votes possibly taking place December 11.
Frank (D-Massachusetts) made clear on December 2, however, that federal regulation of insurance is still very much on the table, noting that there will be hearings on the bills that seek to achieve federal regulation of insurance come spring.