The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) has recognized Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), a former independent insurance agent, as its Legislator of the Year for 2009.
The award was presented yesterday at a luncheon, just prior to the Big “I” Legislative Conference and Convention, at which Ross presented the keynote address.
Ross chairs the Blue Dog Health Care Task Force and was instrumental in ensuring the House health care bill included independent insurance agents and brokers in proposed “exchanges.”
Ross voted against the House bill and said, “The best thing we can do is start over.” The Big “I” supports this position. Ross used to be a member of the group.
His address also included discussion of the recent banking bailout, taxes, the number of bills with House passage that are currently pending before the Senate and the filibuster process in the Senate which he said stalls progress.
He announced that he co-sponsored a Balanced Budget Constitutional amendment. He discussed the history of America’s debt, his hesitation to amend the nation’s founding document and said, “Folks, we’ve got to get this house back in order.”
“Rep. Ross is a true Blue Dog Democrat who practices what he preaches,” said Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO in presenting the award. “Mike is us. He’s a former independent agent from Arkansas and has a great background as an independent agent who knows the industry very well.”
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