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Republicans to Control the U.S. House, What Does It Mean for Agents?

When all the close races are decided and all the dust has settled, the mid-term elections of 2010 will be remembered as a clear, unambiguous...
November 9, 2010

When all the close races are decided and all the dust has settled, the mid-term elections of 2010 will be remembered as a clear, unambiguous victory for the Republicans. The GOP picked up over 60 seats in the House of Representatives. The last time that happened was in 1914, when Woodrow Wilson was president. In the Senate, Republican gains were more modest. Democrats will remain in control of the upper chamber, with 53 votes in their caucus, which includes two independents.

PIA National has done an initial analysis of the potential impact of the new lineup on Capitol Hill. In it, we take a look at some of the House members that won't be back next year. Some of these lawmakers had specific influence on the insurance issues which PIA advocates. We won't reproduce the entire list here, but we will make note of three. Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penna.), Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Ron Klein (D-Fla.) were all defeated for re-election.

Rep. Kanjorski, who in years past was very supportive state regulation of insurance and independent agents, had recently morphed into a strong backer of federal regulation. He proposed what became the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), and this year even tried to use his chairmanship of the Capital Markets Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee to undercut restrictions in the FIO's authority that had been negotiated in good faith. The NAIC along with PIA discovered this and publicly called him out on it. After Rep. Kanjorski was rebuked by his committee chairman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the restrictions on the FIO were restored before the bill creating it was passed.

Rep. Taylor had been a one-man stumbling block to renewal and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). His repeated efforts to add wind coverage to the flood insurance program contributed to the situation where the NFIP lapsed four times during 2010 alone.

Rep. Klein drafted legislation that would create federal government involvement in the case of a natural disaster. As drafted, the legislation could have unnecessarily made the United States responsible for recurring problems unique to Florida. He did, however, bring much needed attention to the issue of how to pay for natural disasters.

You can read the full briefing on the elections by PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Mike Becker here.