NU Online News Service, Nov. 7, 11:10 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON—Officials of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators are in an uproar over not having one of their own on the newly-created Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance.
The 15-member panel was announced Thursday by the Treasury Department. It will consist of seven state regulators, drawn from throughout the country, plus a consumer representative and six industry representatives.
The group is designed to provide feedback to the Treasury and the new Federal Insurance Office, established by the Dodd-Frank Act.
In a statement to Congress several weeks ago saying the panel’s members would be named shortly, Michael McRaith, director of the Federal Insurance Office, said the Treasury Department had received more than a 100 applications to the panel.
One of them was from Rep. George Keiser, R-N.D., NCOIL president.
After learning that he had not been named, Keiser says, “I am disappointed in the FACI selection process.”
He says the committee “is overrepresented by regulators at the expense of legislators.”
Keiser says that by doing that, Treasury “is missing a key perspective—that of a state lawmaker.”
Rep. Bob Damron, D-Ken., immediate past president of NCOIL, says, “As legislators have the last word on insurance public policy, it seems odd that Treasury and the head of the FIO have neglected to include the vital presence of state legislators on FACI,” added
Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., NCOIL past president, says NCOIL “is nonplussed” that FACI composition does not acknowledge legislative expertise.
He says, “NCOIL leaders have gone on record in support of the current NCOIL president as a FACI member. The fact that those determining membership have overlooked a leader of a key insurance legislative organization—an 18-year state legislative veteran and a long-term state insurance committee chair—is baffling.”
He says state legislators “play a key role in submitting insurance legislation on behalf of the state insurance departments, and no insurance legislation would ever be adopted without state legislators performing their important role in the legislative process.”