House rejects financial adviser rule

House rejects financial adviser rule

The House voted Thursday to strike down a controversial rule for financial advisers.

Lawmakers voted 234-183 along party lines to overturn the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, which requires financial advisers to act in the best interest of retirement savers.

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The rule has set the stage for a bitter partisan dispute over retirement savings. 

The GOP is using a legislative tool provided under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of the rule. But President Obama has vowed to veto the measure.

Republicans argue the rule will raise costs so much that low-income people will no longer be able to afford investment advice.

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who is sponsoring the legislation to repeal the fiduciary rule, said his bill would “protect access to affordable retirement advice.”

“I don’t think anyone believes [the fiduciary rule] is going to make it easier for people to retire in this country,” he said.

“Life expectancies are going up, so we should be doing everything we can to help people save for retirement.”

Most Democrats support the fiduciary rule because they say it will bring more transparency to the process of saving for retirement and stop fiduciaries from offering conflicted advice.

Currently, financial advisers must offer good advice to their clients, but not necessarily the best advice. They are allowed to steer their clients toward more expensive products with higher fees that may not yield the highest returns.

The White House estimates this conflicted advice costs retirement savers $17 billion each year in lost money.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) accused these financial advisers of “robbing hard-working American families of their retirement savings.”

"When it comes to retirement, every penny counts,” she said.

Now that the House has passed the disapproval measure, the Senate is expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.

Senate Republicans should be able to pass the disapproval measure because they only need a simple majority.

But Republicans do not have the two-thirds majority they need in both chambers to overcome the president’s impending veto.