Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless 202-224-4515
Senate Leaders Applaud Action by White House to Stop Big Government ‘Fiduciary Rule’
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), along with U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today praised action by President Donald Trump to preserve access to retirement planning for middle-income American families by halting the implementation of the Obama administration’s complex and burdensome “fiduciary rule.”
In an executive order issued by the White House today, President Trump directed the Department of Labor to delay the rule’s application, currently scheduled for April 10, by at least 180 days to allow time for the reevaluation of how this rule adversely affects the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information.
“Today the Trump administration rightly acted to put the brakes on a misguided Obama regulation that would have left middle-class families in the lurch, limiting their access to financial advisers on Main Street whose expert advice can often help shape a financially sound future and build a nest egg for retirement,” said Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “While this is a step in the right direction, we must not forget that Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) are a part of the tax code and ought to be regulated by the U.S. Treasury Department. I’ve introduced legislation to restore Treasury’s jurisdiction over IRAs and will continue to push for this change to ensure retail investment advice is housed in the right agency that will provide the right safeguards for Americans working to adequately save for their future.”
“True to his word, President Trump is continuing to reduce burdensome government regulations that limit hardworking Americans’ retirement choices and make their lives more expensive,” said Isakson, chairman of the Senate labor subcommittee. “I’ve said all along that this rule was a solution in search of a problem. Families should have the freedom and opportunity to look out for their best interests and plan for their retirement. On behalf of Georgia families, I will continue working with the Trump administration to ensure this rule is overturned.”
“President Trump has absolutely done the right thing today by issuing this Executive Order to delay former President Obama’s harmful so-called ‘fiduciary’ rule,” said Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “Under this rule, most retirement planning would have been available only to the rich, since many financial advisers would not have been able to risk new legal liability except for clients with big accounts. Now the rule should be withdrawn before it cripples low- and middle-income Tennesseans’ access to affordable retirement advice—and forces them to work longer and retire with less. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate, including Senator Isakson, to take up legislation which will help ensure that advisers are acting in the best interests of their clients.”
“The fiduciary rule has always been a solution in search of a problem that would just end up hurting the people it is supposedly designed to help,” said Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and chairman of the Senate HELP retirement security subcommittee. “I applaud President Trump for taking action to reassess the necessity of the rule. If we want to ensure that Americans can properly plan for their retirements, we shouldn’t be implementing rules that would just place hurdles in their way.”
The Department of Labor under former President Obama released its final version of the rule – which rewrites its definition of the word “fiduciary” – on April 6, 2016, despite extensive concerns from a variety of stakeholders.
In response, Isakson, Alexander, Enzi and Hatch along with 38 senators filed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act against the new Department of Labor financial retirement planning rule. On May 24, 2016, the Senate voted 56-41 for Isakson’s resolution of disapproval, but former President Obama vetoed the resolution on June 6, 2017.
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