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House passes bill to allow insurance expert to stay on financial oversight council

House passes bill to allow insurance expert to stay on financial oversight council

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow the independent insurance expert to remain on the Financial Stability Oversight Council after the end of his or her term if a successor has not yet been named.

H.R. 3110, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act, was introduced in June to permit the independent insurance expert to remain on the council until 18 months after the date on which the term of service ends or the date on which a successor to the member is appointed and confirmed, whichever is earlier. The bill was unanimously adopted by the House Financial Services Committee in July. 

The full House approved a motion to suspend House rules and pass the legislation on a 407-1 vote on Tuesday.

The need for this legislation came to the forefront with the pending expiration of the six-year term of the council’s current insurance expert, Roy Woodall, in September. The FSOC currently has the power to designate financial institutions, including insurers, as systematically important financial institutions, or SIFIs, which subjects them to heightened capital requirements and reporting rules. But separate legislation aims to revoke the council’s ability to designate these firms as “too big to fail.” 

“We applaud the House’s passage of this bill because it ensures that an individual with expert knowledge of insurance and policyholder issues will maintain a seat at the FSOC table regardless of the political changes in Washington,” the American Insurance Association’s Wes McClelland, vice president for federal affairs, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We thank Mr. Woodall for his continued leadership and look forward to the Senate continuing the process and sending a bill to the president's desk.”

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