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Backers of an optional federal charter will be happy to hear that Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., will likely chair the U.S. Senate Banking Committee next year if Democratic nominee Barack Obama is elected president.

Sens. Johnson and John Sununu, R-N.H., are primary sponsors of S. 40, “The National Insurance Act of 2007,” which would give insurers the option of choosing between a state and federal charter.

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