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Committee Approves Resolution to Stop Fiduciary Rule, Protect Access to Affordable Retirement Advice

The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today approved a resolution (H.J. Res. 88) to block the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary” rule and protect access to affordable retirement advice for low- and middle-income families. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, along with Reps. Charles Boustany (R-LA), and Ann Wagner (R-MO). The resolution passed the committee by a vote of 22 to 14.
 
“Every American deserves retirement advice that’s in their best interest, but they also deserve access to the tools they need to save for the future,” said Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Roe. “We don’t need to choose between supporting affordable retirement advice and ensuring financial advisors act in good faith. Unfortunately, that reckless trade-off is one the administration is willing to accept. We must prevent this flawed rule from wreaking havoc on workers, retirees, and small businesses, and today’s vote is an important first step. I urge my colleagues—in both parties—to join our effort to protect affordable retirement advice and help every American retire with the financial security they need.”
 
“I commend Dr. Roe for leading this fight on behalf of hardworking Americans,” said Chairman John Kline. “We all agree that financial advisors should act in their clients’ best interest, but the administration’s approach is fundamentally flawed. Low- and middle-class families will lose access to affordable retirement advice and small businesses will be discouraged from helping their employees save for retirement. Congress cannot stand by and allow a federal regulation to create this much havoc in the lives of the American people. This resolution will stop this harmful regulatory scheme and empower more Americans to invest and plan for the years ahead.”
 
BACKGROUND:
The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule imposes a host of new mandates and regulatory requirements on retirement advisors. Since the drafting of a similar rule in 2010, bipartisan concerns have been raised about the negative effects the new mandates will have on individuals and small business owners. The rule’s far-reaching consequences include:
 

 
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization. The resolution would block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to go into effect in April 2017. The resolution follows earlier efforts to enact a responsible, bipartisan alternative to the department’s flawed rule.
 
Led by Rep. Roe, lawmakers advanced complementary bipartisan proposals that would require financial advisors to act in the best interests of their clients, and ensure low- and middle-income Americans have access to quality, affordable retirement advice. The House has also taken action on legislation sponsored by Rep. Wagner that would have required the department to coordinate its actions with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
To read opening statements, review amendments, or watch an archived webcast of today’s markup, click here.
 
To read the resolution, click here.


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