Support H.R. 4537

Dear Leader McConnell and Senator Crapo:

We, the undersigned organizations dedicated to limited government and constitutional principles, are writing to ask that you act on H.R. 4537, the International Insurance Standards Act. This legislation has broad bipartisan support and passed the House unanimously. The International Insurance Standards Act would protect and preserve state-based insurance regulation from inappropriate foreign influence, create more transparency and accountability for US federal participants at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and strengthen US negotiators’ position in the international insurance negotiation process, benefiting American policyholders, workers, and business.

The American insurance model is based upon the concept of federalism. Each state regulates and decides which rules should apply within their boundaries. This model of insurance regulation has served our nation’s consumers, markets, and industry for over 150 years. But the American model has come under threat from heavy-handed European bureaucrats seeking to impose their burdensome red tape on the US insurance industry thus making our insurance industry less competitive abroad and negatively impacting the protection of US insurance policyholders.

We strongly support the separation of powers detailed in the U.S. Constitution. The ongoing regulatory standard-setting at the IAIS is a threat to both the states’ authority to regulate the insurance industry and a threat to Congress’ authority under Article I to “regulate commerce with foreign Nations…”. We believe that HR 4537 will begin to help restore some of these important principles.

Specifically, the legislation requires that the US system of insurance regulation be formally recognized in any international insurance agreement before our federal participants in the negotiations can support the agreement. By enacting this requirement and the rest of the International Insurance Standards Act, you will ensure that changes to the American insurance model come from state insurance commissioners or Congress, not from global mandates embedded within an international agreement negotiated by an executive branch appointee.

As we noted, this bill has strong bipartisan support and should be enacted before the end of the year. Thankfully, HR 4537 was also included in a broader Senate bill – S. 488 (JOBS Act 3.0) that is eligible for expedited Senate floor consideration. This legislation passed the House by a vote of 406-4 in July of this year and now awaits a full vote by the Senate. We strongly urge you to bring S. 488, as exactly passed by the House, before the entire US Senate, at the earliest available opportunity. The American system of insurance has served the nation well and should not be threatened by European bureaucrats who fail to understand or appreciate basic concepts of federalism and who seek to make our markets less competitive. We urge quick passage of this important legislation.  October 9, 2018