WASHINGTON BUREAU — The Senate could vote on S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act bill, as early as May 19.
Insurance industry lobbyists say they think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may file a motion for cloture Thursday and schedule a vote Monday on limiting debate to 30 additional hours.
If members of the Senate approve a cloture motion Monday, then a vote could occur about 2 days later.
S. 3217, a bill developed under the oversight of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, includes many provisions that could affect regulation of large insurers and marketing of insurance products.
The House already has approved a comparable bill, H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to file S. 3217 amendments. Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Sen. Herbert Kohl, D-Wis., have introduced S.A. 3941, an amendment that would give the proposed Consumer Finance Protection Agency the authority to establish strict rules governing the sale of reverse mortgages and related insurance products by agents.
A reverse mortgage is a vehicle that a senior citizen can use to tap home equity. The senior can get the home equity in the form of a lump sum or a stream of payments, then re-pay the loan when the senior dies, sells the home or moves.
The amendment proposed by McCaskill and Kohl would require that the proposed CFPA establish regulations preventing third-party agents from engaging in “unlawful, unfair, deceptive or abusive acts” when selling “allied products,” such as life insurance policies and annuities, in connection with the sale of a reverse mortgage, according to a spokesman for McCaskill.
The rules must include strong disclosure requirements, according to the amendment.
For more information about S. 3217, please see Harkin, Other Dems Back Indexed Annuity Amendment, And Other S. 3217 News and Merkley S. 3217 Amendment Would Leash Insurance Office.
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of the reverse mortgage definition given in this article was misleading. We have rewritten it.