A House Appropriations subcommittee passed a spending bill on Thursday that contains a rider to block the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule.
The subcommittee, which funds programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies, currently has an 8-to-4 Republican majority.
Republicans have been leading the fight against the controversial rule that will redefine what is considered a “fiduciary” as it pertains to investment advice.
During yesterday’s mark-up meeting, Barbara Lee (D-CA) was unsuccessful in her attempt to remove the fiduciary rule rider and 14 others with an amendment. She stated that the riders are “egregious” and “policy decisions” that have no business in an appropriations bill.
Subcommittee chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) retorted, “As always, one person’s poison pill is another person’s action to rein in over-regulation and executive overreach. In my view, this is the legitimate use by the Appropriations Committee by denying funding for a whole series of executive actions that are counterproductive…”
Cole further disagreed with Lee saying that 90 Democrats contacted the DOL prior to the rule’s release with their concerns and objections.
He said, “That rule will actually lead to fewer people getting financial services advice and the protection they need, and fewer people having the ability to gradually build up some independence and support during their retirement years.”
Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill for fiscal year 2017 which not only seeks to defund the fiduciary rule, but also reduces the DOL budget.
The bill provides a total of $12 billion for the department – $138 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $765 million below President Obama’s budget request.
The full committee, which also has a Republican majority, is expected to green light the proposed legislation next week.
The bill was not on the House of Representatives calendar at press time.