Politics

‘Obamacare For Retirement’ Hits Stumbling Block In The House

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

In a 234-183 vote, the House passed a resolution Thursday aimed at stopping the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which Republicans believe could prevent low-and-middle income Americans from seeking retirement advice.

The 1000-plus page rule, which GOP lawmakers have dubbed “Obamacare for your retirement plan,” places new regulations and mandates on retirement advisers.

“The administration’s complicated red tape will just make that advice more costly and less available for workers and retirees with modest incomes,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas said in a statement.  “Congress must act to stop this misguided regulation that’s unfair to Americans who only want the freedom to plan for financial independence and the right to shape their own future.”

Following an onslaught of concerns from both sides of the political spectrum, the DOL lightened some of the language requiring advisers to be compensated through a fee-based model – one of critics’ main grievances due to the risk of creating unnecessary costs – but did not remove language creating an influx of paperwork for both investors and financial planners alike.

The Protecting Access to Affordable Retirement Advice resolution – led by Chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee – would prevent the rule, which was released by the administration in its final form in early-April, from being implemented.

“Bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. have no business getting between you and your financial planner. But that’s what the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule does. It’s Obamacare for financial planning,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “That’s why the House has exercised its powers under the Congressional Review Act to reject the administration’s onerous rule. I commend Reps. Roe, Boustany, and Wagner for working to protect middle-class families and small businesses trying to plan for the future.”

A group of GOP Senators recently introduced the counterpart to the resolution in the upper chamber.

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