The measure was included by the House Appropriations Committee in the draft fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill, slated to be considered in subcommittee on June 17. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.
In a summary of the bill, the provision dealing with the fiduciary proposal is included under a section titled “Reducing Harmful Red Tape.” The language itself says simply, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the proposed Definition of the Term ‘‘Fiduciary’’; Conflict of Interest Rule—Retirement Investment Advice regulation published by the Department of Labor in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 21928 11 et seq.).”
In another article, published on Investment News Weekly, it is pointed out that if this particular bill doesn't make it through the Senate, this same rider could get attached to another bill. If it were attached to a bill that would be considered too important for the President to veto, it is possible that the DOL Fiduciary rule proposal could be de-funded.
The article attached here: DOL Fiduciary Rule in Crosshairs of New Spending Bill?
We've written on this blog about the DOL Fiduciary Proposal, and have summarized it with updates linked here. Summary of DOL Fiduciary Proposal
Earlier this spring, U.S. House Representative Republican Ann Wagner announced publicly a three-pronged approach to try and kill these rules. The first strategy involves getting a bill through requiring the SEC to take lead in the rule making to establish a new fiduciary standard.
Failing that, the second strategy is to employ the private sector to attempt to delay the rules for as long as possible in hopes that it pushes into and beyond the presidential election and the incoming president stops it. This second strategy is well known and the DOL is aggressively moving to have these rules finalized and in place by the second quarter of 2016.
Her third strategy is the appropriations approach outlined earlier in this post. Needless to say, there is considerable opposition in both the public and private sector to these rules moving forward. More updates will come as this unfolds.
- Jason Grantz