WASHINGTON, D.C., April 22, 2015—U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is the Gerald Solomon-Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Legislator of the Year for 2014.
In his acceptance remarks, Sen. Crapo discussed numerous issues that impact the small business community, consumers and the independent agency system, particularly his work on the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Act (NARAB II) and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) program.
Known for his deep knowledge of public policy and as a workhorse in the United States Senate, Sen. Crapo discussed NARAB II’s journey and his collaboration with Senate and House leadership and his colleagues to move the bill.
Sen. Crapo recognized the association’s work on NARAB II and TRIA. “I give tons of credit to you,” said Sen. Crapo. “There was no bigger advocate than you. With your support we got 93 votes so thank you.”
No stranger to the Big “I,” Sen. Crapo delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Legislative Conference and has long worked with the association on numerous issues including NARAB II, terrorism insurance and various business topics. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, he’s at the forefront of numerous matters that directly impact independent insurance agents and brokers and their clients.
“Sen. Crapo has a strong track record of standing up for small business, including independent agents in Idaho and across the country,” said Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO, when presenting the award. “Sen. Crapo was relentless in working toward passage of NARAB II and TRIA. Without him, it would not have been done. He understands the importance of this effort to our market and even acknowledged the Big ‘I’ during the Senate floor debate for its work on NARAB II. We are grateful for his hard work as a steward of America’s small businesses and are proud to present him with the Gerald Solomon-IIABA Legislator of the Year for 2014.”
“Sen. Crapo is a true champion for the Big ‘I’,” said Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “He’s here for the right reasons: he’s here to perpetuate good public policy. He’s not here for fame. He’s not here for the press. He’s not here for politics. Here’s here to represent his constituents in Idaho and to represent all citizens of the United States.”
Sen. Crapo serves on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over insurance issues. Additionally, he serves on the powerful Finance Committee, Budget Committee, Environment and Public Works Committee and Indian Affairs Committee. Sen. Crapo was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Idaho State Senate. The Idaho native earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.
The award was presented Tuesday during the annual Leadership Luncheon, just prior to the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The Legislator of the Year Award is bestowed annually by the Big “I” upon a member of Congress who has provided outstanding leadership on insurance issues. It is named as a tribute to the late Congressman Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.), the former House Rules Committee chairman and Big “I” member who championed independent agent and broker legislative concerns during his 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Attendees included Big “I” executive and government affairs committee members, agents and brokers from Sen. Crapo’s home state of Idaho and other industry leaders.
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 approximately a quarter of a million 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.