Lawmakers press administration for missing insurance experts on financial panel

It was signed by Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinThe Hill's 12:30 Report Distance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds MORE (D-Iowa), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Overnight Finance: White House requests B for disaster relief | Ex-Equifax chief grilled over stock sales | House panel approves B for border wall | Tax plan puts swing-state Republicans in tough spot Senators grill ex-Equifax CEO over stock sales MORE (D-Mont.) and David VitterDavid VitterYou're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat Overnight Energy: Trump set to propose sharp cuts to EPA, energy spending Former La. official tapped as lead offshore drilling regulator MORE (R-La.).

The letter, dated Feb. 18, comes about one week after a bipartisan group of four House members aired similar concerns to the FSOC. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusUS Chamber opposes Trump's Export-Import Bank nominee Business pressure ramps up against Trump's Ex-Im nominee Trump considering withdrawing Ex-Im nominee: report MORE (R-Ala.) and ranking member Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) were among the members signing the letter.

The FSOC, created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, includes the heads of several major federal regulators. Geithner chairs the panel, which includes Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, among others.

However, of the three spots reserved on the council for insurance experts, just one has been filled. John Huff, the director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, has been named to the panel as a representative of state insurance commissioners.

But the spots reserved for an independent insurance expert appointed by the president and a voting seat saved for a director of the Federal Insurance Office remain vacant.

"Important work is being done without the inclusion of two key insurance representatives, as required by the [Dodd-Frank] Act," the senators wrote.

Thus far, the new panel has met three times. While much of the group's work has been focused on organizational issues, it approved a study in January on the Volcker Rule. That rule, also part of Dodd-Frank, is intended to prevent banks from engaging in risky "proprietary trading," which is when banks trade with their own funds without the input of its customers.