Weekly Columns

The President Should Sign My Bill to Stop the Fiduciary Rule

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Washington, June 1, 2016 | Tiffany Haverly (202-226-8072) | comments

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan signed my bill to block the Department of Labor’s (DoL) flawed Fiduciary Rule, sending it to President Obama’s desk. I believe this misguided rule will drive up the cost of financial advice and make it more difficult for low- and middle-income investors to save for retirement. There is bipartisan agreement in Congress that investor protections can be strengthened, but I’ve had concerns about the department’s approach since the administration began pursuing a new standard in 2010. In fact, I led a bipartisan group of members of Congress to introduce legislation to improve investor protections, but the president still pushed on unilaterally. To protect retirement savers from this executive overreach, I introduced a resolution that was passed by the House and Senate - using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) - to stop what many are calling Obamacare for your retirement.

Today, there are far too many men and women in this country who don’t have the retirement security they need and deserve. In 2015, the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, found that 29 percent of Americans aged 55 and older have no retirement savings and no traditional pension. Further, nearly 40 million working families haven’t saved a dime for retirement. This is a serious problem, and we should work toward policies that make it easier, not harder, for families to save. Make no mistake, everyone agrees that financial advisors should act in the best interests of their clients, but the DoL bypassed Congress to create an overly complicated rule.

A roughly 1,000 page rule to define what fiduciary means will not make it easier or more likely that Americans will save for retirement. A Webster’s Dictionary has just a few more pages than this rule, and it defines every word in the English language. The last thing Washington should be doing is making it harder for millions of hardworking families to save and invest, but this rule will restrict access to some of the most basic investment advice.

Something that will affect this many people should be voted on in Congress, where representatives are held accountable by their constituents. That’s why CRAs are one of the most important tools Congress has to fight an administration that prefers rulemaking to the rule of law. CRAs provide Congress with an opportunity to officially disapprove of a federal agency’s rule and stops the rule’s implementation unless the president vetoes the resolution, rejecting the will of Congress and, by default, the will of the People.

Saving for retirement is something all Americans should do, no matter their background. Policies that keep sound investment advice affordable and give hardworking families the chance to keep more of what they earn are key to financial security, which is why I believe rules that will make it harder for low- and middle-income families to save – like the Fiduciary Rule – should be stopped by Congress.

You can rest assured I will continue to fight misguided policies like the Fiduciary Rule and push for commonsense proposals to help all Americans save for retirement.

Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family. 
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