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Optional federal charter bill introduced in House


WASHINGTON--Rep. Edward Royce, R-Calif., introduced legislation Thursday in the House of Representatives that would allow property/casualty and life insurers to be chartered by the federal government rather than by the states.

The National Insurance Act of 2006--H.R. 6225--is nearly identical to a measure of the same name introduced in the Senate earlier this year. Under both bills, property/casualty and life insurers would have the option of being regulated by federal authorities. Under current law, insurance regulation is reserved to the states under most circumstances.

In a statement announcing the introduction of the bill, Rep. Royce said it is the first step of a long-term effort to create a "more efficient financial services sector."

No further action is expected in the current session of Congress, which could recess as early as tomorrow for the November elections.