The drive to create a federal regulator for insurance companies gained steam Tuesday in the wake of public outrage over American International Group's bonus packages and a growing concern among lawmakers that the states' oversight is insufficient.

Several lawmakers at a Senate Banking Committee hearing weighed in, including Sen. Richard Shelby, the panel's top Republican, who said the lack of supervision of AIG's far-flung operations "raises some serious questions about the adequacy of state supervision."

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