Griffith Votes to Override Presidential Veto, Protect Access to Affordable Retirement Advice
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) tonight voted in favor of a resolution (H.J.Res.88) to override the President’s June 8 veto of legislation to repeal the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. This rule, which was finalized in April, will impose costly new mandates and burdensome regulations on financial advisors that provide retirement advice. The rule would require these advisors to act as fiduciaries, and therefore they could not receive a fee from the companies providing insurance products such as annuities.
Congressman Griffith issued the following statement after the resolution failed in a vote of 239 to 180:
“At times, I have been disappointed and frustrated with progress made in Congress, including for example the lack of progress that results from the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. Since Republicans regained the majority in the Senate, however, we have placed on President Obama’s desk 8 bills that he has vetoed, including this resolution.”
“I have been particularly supportive of this resolution, and accordingly opposed to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, because I can recall my mother’s insurance agent Clayton Stanley coming by our home on numerous occasions in the 1960s when I was young and advising her on annuities, advice which is continuing to benefit her to this day. However, my mother, now 86, was then a single mom who had two young kids. She would have been unable to pay the up-front fee necessitated by the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule."
“I am surprised by the President’s veto of such a common-sense proposal – helping low- and middle-income Americans save for retirement. But elections have consequences. I am hopeful that our next President, whoever that may be, will instead support reasonable policies that look out for low- and middle-income families.”
Under procedures established by the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a regulation or rule, or from issuing a similar regulation without the authorization of Congress.
The Labor Department in April 2015 proposed the fiduciary rule. In October 2015, Congressman Griffith signed onto a letter to Thomas Perez, the Secretary of Labor, expressing numerous concerns with the proposed fiduciary rule.
The final fiduciary rule was issued on April 8, 2016. Bipartisan concerns have been raised that the rule will restrict access to affordable retirement advice for low- and middle-income families and harm small businesses that will have to pay more in order to offer retirement options to workers.
Introduced by Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, H.J.Res.88 would use the Congressional Review Act to block the Obama Administration’s fiduciary rule. It passed the House of Representatives in April, and passed the Senate in May. President Obama vetoed the resolution on June 8.