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Royce Voices Opposition to Unconstitutional, Anti-Competitive Insurance Legislation

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Washington, July 9, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the House poised to pass the International Insurance Standards Act of 2017 (H.R. 4537) on the suspension calendar this week, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement:

“This bill is not only unconstitutional but anti-competitive; hampering our ability to represent U.S. interests in international fora. Supporters of this bill, including many State regulators represented by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, appear more interested in winning an imaginary turf war than acting in the best interests of U.S. consumers. Fifty-plus State regulators and their trade association simply do not have the authority or capacity to engage in international negotiations in a global economy.

“We cannot forget that the Federal Insurance Office was created by Congress to, among other responsibilities, ensure a strong, consistent, dedicated U.S. voice in international insurance arenas. Congress should be looking to build on the recent success of the first covered agreement. H.R. 4537 does the opposite; undermining our ability to work and act together internationally to promote and defend the U.S. system of insurance regulation. If chaos and confusion is the goal, we have achieved it.”


Background

On March 5, 2018, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent the Committee on Financial Services Chairman, Jeb Hensarling, a memo detailing a number of provisions in H.R. 4537 that “raise constitutional concerns.” These concerns, according to the Department of Justice, would “contravene the president’s exclusive authority over the conduct of diplomatic relations.” 

Click here to read the full memo. 

The White House included similar concerns in the May 24, 2018 signing statement accompanying S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act saying: “These directives contravene my exclusive constitutional authority to determine the time, scope, and objectives of international negotiations.”

On December 13, 2017, Rep. Royce joined three of his Democratic colleagues in bipartisan opposition to H.R. 4537 when the bill was considered by the House Financial Services Committee. 

This week, two major insurance organizations, the American Council of Life Insurers and the Reinsurance Association of America, issued statements in opposition to H.R. 4537 saying, “if enacted, the bill would hinder the U.S. industry’s ability to compete internationally and protect itself from future threats.” 

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