House votes to streamline cross-state insurance sales

"On average, multi-state agents sell insurance in eight states," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), the sponsor of the bill. "That means that eight different applications, eight different procedures… and separate background checks and multiple, inconsistent standards and duplicative processes."

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Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), a cosponsor, said the bill would help insurers lower their compliance costs and make insurance less expensive for people around the country.

"Business is no longer conducted around the corner or down the street or just in the next town. It's all over the country," Scott said. "And our insurance agents and brokers need the flexibility and the smoothness in our system to be able to negotiate in the best interest of not just the insurance industry, but most importantly for the benefit of consumers who move from state to state to city to city."

The bill was brought up under a suspension of House rules, a process for non-controversial bills that requires a two-thirds majority for passage. The bill easily cleared this hurdle, as it passed in a 397-6 vote.

Members also passed two other suspension bills Tuesday afternoon. One of these is the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act, H.R. 2747. This bill would give the Department of Labor the responsibility for paying federal wage adjustment claims under the Davis-Bacon Act.

Davis-Bacon requires federal contractors to be paid prevailing wages in their local area, a policy many Republicans oppose. But both parties agreed that Labor should be in charge of payments to workers who are not paid a prevailing wage, instead of the Government Accountability Office — the bill passed 396-10.

The House also passed S. 130, the Powell Shooting Range Land Conveyance Act. This bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to give 322 acres of land to the Powell Recreation District in Wyoming, and it passed 408-1.

In a voice vote, members also passed S. 157, the Denali National Park Improvement Act. This bill lets the Department of the Interior issue permits for a natural gas pipeline in Denali National Park in Alaska.