The U.S. House of Representatives approved an appropriations bill on Tuesday evening that would restrict or potentially prohibit the DOL from using funding to finalize, implement or enforce its proposed fiduciary rule..
The bill, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, contains three amendments that were introduced by GOP lawmakers and approved on voice vote.
President Biden has already threatened to veto the bill.
“The Administration strongly opposes sections…of the bill, which would prevent DOL from using funds to administer, implement, or enforce rules providing critical protections of workers’ wages and retirement plans,” President Biden said in a statement.
The House of Representatives approved the language limiting the DOL’s pursuit of the proposed fiduciary late Tuesday.
The first amendment to the bill would restrict any funds it made available from being used “to finalize, implement or enforce” the DOL fiduciary rule or any substantially similar rule. The amendment was introduced by Rep. Rick Allen of Georgia.
The second amendment would prohibit the DOL from using funds to finalize, implement or enforce proposed amendments to class prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs) which have been used by registered reps and agents who charge commissions to sell annuities and other products to retirement rollover customers. Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri introduced the amendment.
Rep. Ralph Norman of S.C. introduced a third amendment which would prohibit the DOL from using funding to crack down on “junk fees” in retirement plan advice, as outlined by the White House’s fact sheet on the DOL fiduciary rule.
“We are encouraged that some members of Congress are recognizing that the Biden Administration’s proposed fiduciary rule is unnecessary, redundant, and will harm lower and middle class retirement savers, Dan Zielinkski, a spokesman for the Insured Retirement Institute, said.
Commission-based industries, which successfully overturned the DOL’s last blanket fiduciary rule in court in 2018 oppose the rule, but consumer and fiduciary organizations such support it.