This morning at the annual convention, it was announced that Warren Heck, Chairman and CEO of Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company, had left Atlanta early in order to capitalize on a unique opportunity to address the weekly meeting of the Blue Dog Democrats – a critical House caucus – on behalf of NAMIC. The meeting was a chance to continue to educate members on the issues that are important to the property/casualty insurance industry and we are pleased to announce that it was well received.
Formed in 1995, the Blue Dogs describe themselves as a group of moderate-to-conservative Democrats committed to financial and national security, favoring compromise and bipartisanship over ideology and party discipline. The caucus is comprised of 52 representatives and in the 111th Congress this means they have the power to swing a vote on any legislation on which they stand united. In the clmate change and health care debates they have demonstrated themselves to be a powerful group that can have an important impact in the House of Representatives.
NAMIC has been working closely with the Blue Dogs to secure an invitation to speak at their weekly meeting in advance of the upcoming debate over financial services regulation. The caucus understands the importance of getting any reform proposals right, and were grateful that we took the time to meet with them.
Most of the members in attendance were in favor of state regulation and expressed concerns about many of the current proposals for financial services regulatory reform. There were also many thoughtful questions for Mr. Heck, including how the Blue Dogs could communicate the effectiveness of state regulation to other members and congressional leadership. At one point in the meeting one member expressed his opinion that if all insurance companies were mutual, regulatory problems would be solved.
NAMIC was also asked to follow up with Blue Dog staff with some further information about property/casualty insurance issues giving us a further opportunity to forge a stronger relationship with one of the key groups in Congress. We would like to thank Mr. Heck for his willingness to represent NAMIC and commend him for a job well done.