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Sen. John Breaux to Address IIABA National Legislative Conference

Joins Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Impressive Speaker Docket



WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4 - Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) will be among the prominent speakers addressing more than 800 independent insurance agents and brokers during the 27th Annual National Legislative Conference of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) next month.

Breaux will speak to IIABA members during the April 3 breakfast session of the Big “I” legislative meeting—the insurance industry’s largest and most effective gathering of its kind. The National Legislative Conference will run April 2-4 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

“Senator Breaux is arguably the most important Democrat in the U.S. Senate—a true moderate swing vote who can be very independent in his voting pattern, but also a staunch supporter of some major Democratic initiatives,” says IIABA Senior Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Maria L. Berthoud.

“With a mainstream approach to government, Sen. Breaux has emerged as a highly effective leader and major consensus builder on issues as far-ranging as taxes, health care and relations with Iraq. Our agents and brokers will value the insight of someone who possesses the unique ability to entice liberals and conservatives alike toward a bipartisan middle ground on issue after issue,” adds Berthoud.

Breaux, Louisiana’s senior senator, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972 at the age of 28—making him the youngest member of Congress at that time. He represented the 7th District of Louisiana for 14 years before winning election to the Senate in 1986.

Currently serving his third Senate term, Breaux has been a chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership since 1993. He is a senior member of the Finance Committee and is recognized as the Democrats’ “point man” on tax issues. Additionally, Breaux serves on the Rules Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and also is ranking member of the Special Committee on Aging.

As a founding member of the Centrist Coalition of Senate Democrats and Republicans, Breaux has forged bipartisan agreements in a number of diverse legislative areas. He also has long been at the forefront of efforts to move the Democratic Party toward the center of the political spectrum. Breaux is a founder and past chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, succeeding Bill Clinton in 1991.

“IIABA has long enjoyed a good relationship with Sen. Breaux on issues important to independent agents and brokers,” says Berthoud. “His support of agents and brokers has helped make the difference on tax and other issues. We look forward to his remarks on the challenges facing the new Congress.”

IIABA’s National Legislative Conference has long been a venue for hearing from prominent political leaders. The previous three presidents—Ronald Reagan, George Bush (also spoke when he was vice president) and Clinton—and former vice president Dan Quayle have all been keynote speakers. Also, an impressive list of Congressional leaders have addressed IIABA members at the legislative conference, including the past three House Speakers—Reps. Dennis Hastert (R- Ill), Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and Tom Foley (D-Wash.); three Senate Majority Leaders—Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and George Mitchell (D-Maine); 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and 2000 Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Current Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) joins Breaux on the speaker list for this year’s event. Frist will be the first speaker at the April 3 breakfast session.

Highlights of the 2003 National Legislative Conference will include an in-depth issues briefing session, the ninth annual IIABA Congressional Reception, additional appearances by other high-profile political speakers discussing important insurance and national issues confronting lawmakers and agents in Washington, and hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill between IIABA agents and their elected representatives in Congress.

Online registration is available at www.independentagent.com by clicking on “Register ONLINE” under the National Legislative Conference banner on the home page. Contact Tabitha Gass at (202) 863-7000 for more information about the legislative meeting.

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:  www.independentagent.com. 

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