The American Insurance Association (AIA) is offering praise for retiring Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D – Conn.), who announced today he would not seek reelection next year.

“Senator Dodd’s leadership in the Senate has been instrumental to our industry over the years. AIA President Leigh Ann Pusey said in a statement. “He has consistently delivered for the people of Connecticut and skillfully navigated numerous important issues affecting the property-casualty industry, including those companies anchored in his home state, with a sense of commitment, objectivity, and fairness.

Pusey cited Dodd’s leadership on areas such as the reauthorization of the terrorism risk insurance program, the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and, most recently, financial services regulatory reform.  He has always been a reasonable legislator and he will leave the Senate with a significant record of achievement. Senator Dodd will always remain in high regard by the property-casualty insurance sector.”

Yet, it was Dodd’s high regard for the insurance industry, in particular his 2009 effort to help executives at American International Group retain their bonuses, that caused his popularity to take a hit in his home state.

In remarks about his retirement, Dodd acknowledged the tough political climate he faced, but said his decision was multi-faceted, citing the passage of his friend Ted Kennedy, and the ability to spend time with his two young children.

“I have been a Connecticut Senator for 30 years,” Dodd said. “I'm proud of the job I've done and the results delivered. But none of us are irreplaceable. None of us are indispensable. Those who think otherwise are dangerous.”

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