The Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives did try to do some business in the midst of the Democratic representatives’ sit in, and a miserable bit of business it was.
“House Republicans on Wednesday failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to block the Obama administration’s controversial standards for financial advisers. The House voted 239-180 to block the fiduciary rule, well more than 40 votes short of the total needed.
Wednesday night’s vote came as Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor, starting around nearly 12 hours earlier, to push for a vote on legislation to prevent terror suspects from buying guns.” [TheHill]
There’s a little story about priorities herein. While the Democrats were trying to get the leadership to schedule votes on gun safety legislation, the Republicans were trying to make it easier for financial advisers to rip people off. [TP]
Let’s try to make this as simple as humanly possible. “Fiduciary” /fəˈdooSHēˌerē,-SHərē/, “ involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary.” Think of that pile of money in the graphic above as your savings. You have trusted a financial adviser to tell you the best investments you can make to get a good return on your savings, especially for your retirement account. You are trusting that what your investment and/or financial adviser is telling you is in your best interest.
The Department of Labor has drafted a rule to require your financial adviser to act in your best interest regarding your investments – and not to give you advice on financial products that will do more for the investment advisers than they will do for you. In short, it’s a matter of trust — you should be able to trust what your financial adviser is telling you. You should be able to trust that the advice isn’t intended to feather the nests of the investment advisers instead of yours.
So, what have the Republicans been doing? Return with us now to the Senate side of the Capitol building. On May 24, 2016 the Republican controlled Senate voted to kill the Labor Department rule. [vote 84] The vote was 56-41, obviously not sufficient to over-ride the promised veto. And, who voted along with other Republicans to kill the rule? None other than our own Bankers’ Boy, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV).
Now, let’s return to the House side of the Capitol Building. HJ Res 88, “ On disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “Fiduciary,” on passage, the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding… [vote 338] And who from the great state of Nevada voted to kill the rule? Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV2), Cresent Hardy (R-NV4), and Joe Heck (R-NV3). Who as a member of Nevada’s congressional delegation did NOT vote to allow financial advisers to act in their own best interests rather than yours – Representative Dina Titus (D-NV1). The attempt to overturn the Labor Department rule failed 239-180. The Republicans needed a 2/3rds majority to get rid of the rule, and thanks to Representative Titus and 179 other members of the House they didn’t get it.
In spite of the Republicans’ best efforts – your financial adviser will now have to offer investment advice based on what is in YOUR best interests – and not peddle financial products that will garner fees, kickbacks, and other “revenue enhancement” for the advisers.
And, THIS is what the Republicans thought was more important than scheduling votes on gun safety in America.