WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a bill Tuesday night that would ease capital standards for insurance companies under the Dodd-Frank Act.

The measure, which passed by unanimous consent, would effectively change the Collins amendment, the Dodd-Frank provision that sets a statutory floor for risk-based capital requirements for systemically important institutions, clarifying that the requirements would not apply to insurance companies.

Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Banking Committee, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the ranking member, both spoke in favor of moving forward with a floor vote for the provision at an unrelated panel vote earlier on Tuesday. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

"It never made sense to treat insurance companies like big banks to begin with," Johanns said in a press release. "This clarification gives peace of mind to local insurers that they no longer have to worry about more one-size-fits-all regulation and it also gives consumers the reassurance that new regulations won't force rate increases."

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