Property-casualty insurer and producer groups are putting apositive spin on the Democrats' dramatic takeover of the U.S.Congress. In our NU cover story this week, a host of political bigsin the industry express confidence they'll be able to work with theDems who will rule Capitol Hill come January, and speculate thatsome issues on their agenda might even get a more sympathetichearing.

The best bet for the industry under the Democrats is in convincingCongress to once again extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act–andperhaps even replace it with a more permanent facility. After all,it was Senator Hillary Clinton who said keeping a federal terrorismreinsurance failsafe in place to support the economy was a matterof national security, while it's been Republicans–especially thosein the White House–who have been looking to kill the program andleave terrorism risks to the not-so-tender mercies of the freemarket.

Then there is federal regulation–whether via an optional federalcharter or a federal standards approach, as envisioned in theso-called SMART legislation. I was always skeptical whether aRepublican-led Congress–so averse to Big Government in Washington,and so supportive of states' rights–would ever take power away fromthe states on insurance oversight and hand it to yet anotherbloated bureaucracy run by Uncle Sam.

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