Vacant federal insurance positions concern lawmakers

Feb 16, 2011

The following article was published in Business Insurance News on February 16, 2011:

Vacant federal insurance positions concern lawmakers

By Mark A. Hofmann 

WASHINGTON—A bipartisan group of congressmen sent a letter Wednesday to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the fact that two key insurance-related positions created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act remain unfilled.

In the letter, the group—led by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Jim Himes, D-Conn.—notes the Dodd-Frank Act creates a Federal Insurance Office within the Treasury Department. The letter points out that the financial services reform law mandates that the director of FIO as well as an insurance expert serve as members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

“While we appreciate the size and the scope of the implementation task before you, we are concerned that, six months after enactment, the positions of the FIO director and the council’s insurance-designee remain unfilled,” said the letter.

The congressional letter, which pointed out that the FSOC already has met and issued a proposed rule that could impact insurers, also was sent to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

The letter echoes concerns of other lawmakers and insurance trade groups, which have asked Mr. Geithner to have the FSOC postpone any decisions affecting insurers until the insurance-related vacancies on FSOC are filled.