National Association of Professional
The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA)
congratulates the Republican Party on its sweeping mid-term election
victory in which it took control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Insurance Agents Congratulates
Republicans on Winning Control of
"The results of the mid-term elections could not have been clearer,"
said PIA National President Fred Thomas. "The American people voted
for a new kind of change, one that is rooted in fiscal responsibility.
The members of PIA heartily congratulate the winners, led by
presumptive Speaker-designate John Boehner. We look forward to working
with the new House GOP leadership on legislation that benefits America's
Main Street insurance agents and consumers."
Thomas said he hopes one of the first orders of business will be a repeal
of a provision of the recently-enacted healthcare law that requires
that businesses of all sizes file a 1099 form with the Internal Revenue
Service reporting any purchases they make of goods or services of $600
or more in a tax year from any individual or business,
"In fact, legislation to kill this onerous new regulation does not
necessarily have to wait until January, when the new Congress convenes,"
Thomas said. "This could be accomplished on a bipartisan basis in the
lame-duck session of Congress set to begin later this month."
Thomas called for passage of proposals to bring down the cost of healthcare,
something that has not yet been addressed. In addition, he called for
completion of reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
coupled with a five-year reauthorization, along with a review of the
newly-created Federal Insurance Office (FIO) with an eye toward placing
additional restrictions on its activities.
The PIA National president, who is a former Montana Senate Majority
Leader, noted that because Democrats will retain control of both the
U.S. Senate and the White House, good legislation passed in the House may
not be enacted. "The threat of a Senate logjam or a presidential veto
could stifle positive legislative initiatives. Part of PIA's agenda
will be to seek out areas of broad agreement for the benefit of small
businesses that are the backbone of our economy."
Thomas said the GOP victory in the House and gains in the Senate will
greatly improve prospects that PIA's strong opposition to the expansion
of federal regulation to include insurance will be sustained. He also
noted that because insurance is state-regulated, changes in governorships
and state legislatures as well as a new crop of state insurance
commissioners will have a profound effect on the insurance industry.
"One of the messages conveyed by voters was a desire to reduce regulation
at the federal level," Thomas added. "We believe that this election bodes
well for PIA's long-standing opposition to a takeover by the federal
government of insurance regulation from the states, as some have proposed.
Lawmakers elected on a strong platform of opposing federal encroachment
will have a hard time supporting proposals for more expansive federal
regulation through optional federal insurance charters."