You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2014New Makeup of Congress to Affect Insurance Issues

New Makeup of Congress to Affect Insurance Issues

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents congratulates the winners in the midterm elections and looks forward to Congress making progress in dealing with important insurance issues...
November 7, 2014

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) congratulates the winners in the midterm elections and looks forward to Congress making progress in dealing with important insurance issues.

“The voters have spoken and as a result, new opportunities may open up for legislative action that will have an impact on insurance issues,” said PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “PIA encourages the House GOP leadership to schedule action on a long-term extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) during the upcoming lame-duck session. Also awaiting passage is the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II).”

“In addition, we look forward to Congress passing the Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act (S.2270) by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), which would clarify that the Federal Reserve should regulate insurance companies differently than banks,” Becker said. PIA supports the so-called Collins Amendment fix as a common-sense solution and will continue to work with Congress to urge its enactment during the lame-duck session.

“The GOP takeover in the Senate will result in a shift of legislative priorities,” said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile. “Issues that may now move to the forefront include efforts to repeal or significantly alter the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changing aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act and the potential for tax reform. Such initiatives, however, face the realistic prospect of vetoes by President Obama.”

The possible impact of the Republican wave of victories on insurance regulation is less clear at this point. The makeup of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) could be affected by changes in governorships. Several states where the governor appoints the insurance commissioner saw GOP challengers defeat Democratic incumbents, including Maryland, Arkansas and Illinois.

Democrats did pick up the governor’s office in Pennsylvania, with Tom Wolf’s win over incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett. That has the potential of ending Michael Consedine’s tenure as Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner; however, observers note that Consedine has a high profile on international regulatory issues and is in line to become the NAIC president.

At this time, it appears that Connecticut’s Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has turned back a strong GOP challenge; if that holds, Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi would likely remain. Leonardi has been active at the NAIC on international matters and, like Consedine, he has been an outspoken supporter of state regulation of insurance.

Filed under: