WEEK IN REVIEWPosted by Staff on September 11, 2015
Lawmakers Express Bipartisan Concerns Over Labor Dept. Retirement Regulation
The Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held the hearing to examine the Labor Department's proposed "fiduciary rule," which will limit retirement choices and prevent lower and middle income savers from accessing affordable financial advice.
"Every day, millions of Americans look to a broker dealer or investment adviser for guidance on what to do with their hard-earned savings and to help them achieve a secure and prosperous retirement. That makes it all the more curious that this same Department of Labor is now marching forward with a regulation that will upend the ability of Americans to receive such guidance and which threatens the retirement security of the most vulnerable within our society," said Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Scott Garrett (R-NJ).
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, noted the proposed rulemaking has been described as "Obamacare for your IRA, and is yet another attempt by the Administration to perpetuate a 'government-knows-best' regime. Americans should be able to make the investment choice that is right for them."
Expert witnesses at the hearing said the regulation will make the type of financial advice millions of Americans want either unaffordable or unavailable -- particularly for those who need it most. "Under such a model, many will either pay more than they do today or will receive no advice at all," said one witness.
"There will be massive market disruption and many middle income savers will suffer without advice," said another witness.
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) has introduced H.R. 1090, which would stop the Department of Labor’s misguided rule. "This is good legislation that prevents an overzealous administration from taking away sound advice for low and middle income savers," she told reporters during an interview this week.
Following the hearing, Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said the Committee will advance Rep. Wagner's bill. "We will stand with lower and middle income savers and prevent government bureaucrats from denying them access to reliable and affordable retirement saving options," he said.
Task Force members continued their discussions from previous hearings about the myriad ways terrorist organizations are able to finance their operations and the threat these groups pose to U.S. national security.
Concerns were expressed by both Republicans and Democrats on the Task Force that President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran will lead to more terrorism since Iran is the world's largest and most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism.
Task Force Vice Chairman Robert Pittenger (R-NC) said, “Iran will soon receive a windfall of over $100 billion, and their 46 banks will be integrated into the world’s financial system. Preventing these dollars from funding terror must be a priority."
Witness Scott Modell told the Task Force that the U.S. "will fall further behind" when it comes to combating terrorist financing if the Iranian nuclear agreement is implemented. "If you look at the thousands of individuals and entities that have been designated as a result of Iran's illicit activities over the years that are now going to be exonerated essentially by this deal, of course it's a setback. Those are people who are willingly engaged in criminal activity on behalf of the Iranian regime."MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Rep. Sean Duffy | Duffy: Financial reforms have failed us
In large part, the 2008 financial crisis was a result of federal financial regulators failing to do their jobs in the first place, coupled with a failure to anticipate the looming issues in the subprime mortgage market. What did Dodd-Frank do? It rewarded regulators’ incompetence with more responsibility, and it built a moat around “too big to fail institutions,” while making it difficult for small banks to stay afloat — to say nothing of the untold damage it has done to our economy. The law of unintended consequences has never been more apparent than when we look at Dodd-Frank.
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On the Horizon
September 17, 2015 10:00 a.m.
Politico Pro | Iran the focus of terror finance task force hearing
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Wagner Bill Heats Up Financial Services Fight
Washington Examiner | House Panel Will Move to Stop Labor Rule
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Plan Adviser | Legislators Hear Arguments About Fiduciary Reform
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