Members of the PIA of Virginia held meetings this week with their congressional delegation as part of PIA’s 2022 Advocacy Day. In their meetings, the PIA of Virginia explained to their elected representatives why the state insurance regulatory system is successful and why a major threat to that system – the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) — needs to be repealed.
PIA supports legislation sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Reps. Ben Cline (R-VA) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI) to repeal the FIO (S. 524/H.R. 4866). The FIO was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and is an ongoing threat to the successful state insurance regulatory system. In 2021, members of PIA of Virginia played a key role in bringing the issue to the attention of Rep. Cline, which led to its introduction in the House last summer.
In their meetings this week, members of the PIA of Virginia explained that many of FIO’s duties are examples of federal overreach and are duplicative of entities that already exist in our state-based insurance regulatory system.
PIA members also noted that as long as the FIO exists, it is likely to grow in power and responsibility. For instance, in 2017, the House passed a bill that would have created a new office of the “independent insurance advocate,” which would have substantially increased the size and scope of the FIO by permitting it to hire an expansive professional staff, giving it a Senate-confirmable director, allowing it to issue regulations, and granting it a line item in the federal budget. Thankfully, the bill never advanced in the Senate, but its House passage serves as a warning sign that, if Congress allows the FIO to continue to exist, it will inevitably increase in size and power.
Their efforts this week were part of PIA’s 2022 series of year-round, state-specific advocacy events that offer agents the chance to meet with federal policymakers on the issues that matter most to them. Throughout the year, PIA members from across the country will spend their Advocacy Days engaging with lawmakers on PIA’s current Issues of Focus.