Lawmakers press administration for missing insurance experts on financial panel

It was signed by Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law MORE (D-Iowa), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer The Hill's Morning Report: 200 Days to the Election Koch network targets Tester with new six-figure ad buy MORE (D-Mont.) and David VitterDavid Bruce VitterPlanned Parenthood targets judicial nominee over abortion comments Trump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? 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 BachusManufacturers ramp up pressure on Senate to fill Ex-Im Bank board Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism 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.