Debate on a bill creating a federal insurance office and other financial services reform legislation could begin in the House as early as next Wednesday, according to several media reports. Yesterday the House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009 by a voice vote. Following a number of revisions, the new federal office would not have any regulatory authority over the business of insurance and also would not be able to preempt state insurance laws governing rates, premiums, coverage requirements, antitrust laws, underwriting or sales practices. The office will collect information about the industry and advise on policy issues. Check out a December 2 Insurance Journal article for more on this story. Meanwhile, H.R. 3996, the Financial Stability Improvement ActÃ‚ givingÃ‚ the government authority to deal with troubled financial institutions, including insurers, also passed the House Financial Services Committee yesterday on a 31-27 vote. Check out more on this story in a December 2 National Underwriter article. I.I.I. background information on regulation modernization is available here.