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Congressman Bruce Braley Addresses Big "I" Young Agents and InsurPac Leadership

Iowan opposes administration's proposed crop insurance program cuts.



WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2010 – Yesterday, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) expressed his opposition to crop insurance program cuts and federal regulation of insurance during his remarks to the Annual Young Agents & InsurPac State Chairpersons Legislative Luncheon at the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention.

Braley discussed his opposition to the Obama administration’s proposed cuts to the national crop insurance program. The Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) is currently in the midst of a renegotiation process which occurs every five years. This financial agreement is negotiated between the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and approved crop insurance companies.

”I have serious concerns about the proposed changes,” said Braley. “I feel that these cuts are excessive and could seriously damage the federal crop insurance program.” Braley’s district includes a large agricultural area and the cities of Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Dubuque, Clinton, Davenport and Bettendorf. 

Braley received a round of applause when he discussed his position on the proposed Federal Insurance Office (FIO).

“I support the language that explicitly states that neither FIO nor the U.S. Treasury Department has regulatory or supervisory authority over the business of insurance,” said Braley.

Braley, who had attended a memorial service for the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) that morning, opened his remarks by discussing the senior congressman’s life and contributions. He also discussed financial regulatory reform, estate tax and other issues.

Braley was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is in his second term and represents Iowa’s first congressional district.

The event also featured the presentation of the annual InsurPac National Championship awards, Young Agent of the Year and Eagle awards. The 2009 winners are:

InsurPac National Championship Award – Texas: This award goes to the state whose agents contribute the most money for InsurPac in a calendar year.

Young Agent National Championship Award - North Carolina: This recognition honors the state whose young agents donate the most money to InsurPac. Young Agents from North Carolina contributed $12,762.

 InsurPac Young Agent Award: The 2009 winner, John Braut of Montana, previously served on the Big “I” Young Agent Committee and when his tenure came to a close, he brought his enthusiasm and dedication to the InsurPac Board of Trustees. He played a significant role in engaging rural agents.

InsurPac Eagle Awards: This award is given annually to states that surpass a fundraising average of $100 per member agency. The 2009 recipients are Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Carolina.

InsurPac is the Big “I” political action committee and the largest property-casualty PAC in the United States. It has broken its fundraising goals for nine consecutive years and last year, for the first time, broke the million dollar mark in one fiscal year. In disbursing contributions, InsurPac does not look at party affiliation but supports representatives, senators and candidates for federal office who have been supportive of the independent agency system.

Founded in 1896, the Big “I” 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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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