WASHINGTON–Financial reform legislation is necessary but must be achieved without unintended results for business, an Iowa congressman told a conference here.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, made his remarks Wednesday in addressing the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s Legislative Conference & Convention.
He said he supports efforts to end “irresponsible and predatory business practices, improve consumer protection, and hold Wall Street accountable for risky actions that hurt middle-class families.”
But Braley warned that sweeping federal legislation can sometimes have unintended consequences for individuals. This is why he said he sought clarification over the definition of “insurer” to prevent the proposed new Federal Insurance Office’s data collection from adversely affecting insurance agents and brokers.
He added that he supports language stating that the FIO or the Treasury Department would not have regulatory or supervisory authority over the business of insurance.
Turning to taxation, he noted when current estate tax rates and exemptions sunset next year, the rate would rise to 55%, with $1 million exemption.
Braley said he and others in Congress have worked on a bill to provide relief to families, farmers and small businesses who would be affected by those increases.
A bill that would adjust the exemption for inflation has not passed Congress, however, and the need for reform from the increases in 2011 has not gone away, he said.
“I understand the importance of not letting it return to levels that are impractical, based on current and future economic circumstances that would place an undue burden on small business owners,” Braley said.