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Life Health > Health Insurance

Democrats Restructuring House Financial Services Committee

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Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the anticipated new chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has already directed committee staffers to sketch out new subcommittees that focus on consumer health, including a tentatively renamed Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets subcommittee to focus on annuity and fiduciary issues.

That name would replace the current Capital Markets, Securities and Investment subcommittee and would likely be chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

A spokeswoman for Maloney did not immediately respond to a media inquiry.

“Ranking Member Waters is in the process of having conversations with the Democratic Members of the committee about the committee’s future structure and seeking their input. This process has not been completed,” Waters’ spokesman, Eric Hersey, told ThinkAdvisor. He did not elaborate further.

Reuters was among those first reporting on the proposed committee changes on Nov. 15.

Sources told ThinkAdvisor that the committee restructuring remains under discussion and likely wouldn’t be finalized until after Thanksgiving.

According to a proposed restructuring slide template making its rounds on Capitol Hill last week, other changes under consideration include a new task force on technology and innovation, among others.

The Democratic leadership is also considering a new subcommittee called Diversity and Inclusion, which could envelop issues in financial services such as corporate governance and hiring practices.

Although the word “insurance” has been removed from the current Housing and Insurance Subcommittee and tentatively replaced with Community Development, this is not final, and insurance is definitely included throughout the entire committee, according to sources.

Some in the industry had wondered if it were a snub, but assurances are being made it is not.

The only subcommittee that appears to retain the same title is “Oversight and Investigations.”

“Terrorism and Illicit Finance” might be changed to reflect the additional review of not just illicit finance but international financial institutions, according to the slide.

Sources cautioned that the jurisdiction is the same, and that these changes are just contemplated proposals — the word insurance, for instance, as well as others, could still be used prominently.

The committee is also working through subcommittee leadership positions.

The American Council of Life Insurers “is looking forward to working with [Waters] in her new capacity as the incoming chair,” stated Alane Dent, ACLI senior vice president of federal relations, in a statement to ThinkAdvisor.

“Incoming House leadership may choose to realign some committees’ structure. I am sure that we will be comfortable with any changes and accompanying realignment of subcommittee jurisdiction,” said Dan Zielinski, spokesman for the Insured Retirement Institute.

“Regardless of committee structure, IRI will remain committed to advocating thoughtful retirement security legislation to advance the financial security of American workers.”

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