Week ahead: Labor chief defends financial adviser rule

Labor Secretary Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE is heading to Capitol Hill to defend a controversial rule on investment advisers that's facing attacks from Republicans and many Democrats.

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule would require retirement investment advisers to disclose more information about their compensation to clients. Supporters say it would ensure that they act in the best interests of their clients.

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But critics, including in the investment industry, say the rule would raise costs and discourage those who need investment advice the most from seeking it.

Lawmakers will get three shots at Perez in the coming week when he swings by Capitol Hill for a series of hearings.

The House and Senate Appropriations committees are bringing Perez in for budget hearings on Tuesday and Thursday, and Perez will join the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday to discuss the agency's "policies and priorities." http://1.usa.gov/1RV03HG

Perez will likely face tough questions from lawmakers about the Labor Department's fiduciary rule in all three hearings.

He can also expect questions from Democrats on the department's proposed overtime protections.

The Labor Department proposed the rules in June 2015 but has yet to finalize them. Democrats are urging the administration to hurry as its rul-making clock ticks down.

Elsewhere, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on accountability at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which controls the Obama administration's rule-making spigot. http://1.usa.gov/1QRKzlo

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will also examine the federal administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Mich., the same day. http://1.usa.gov/1QB34Od The hearing comes amid a crisis in Flint, where drinking water was contaminated by lead.

A House Appropriations subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Fish and Wildlife Service Budget on Tuesday.

Another Appropriations subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Federal Communications Commission budget the same day, with Chairman Tom Wheeler testifying. Expect him to face tough questions on newly proposed privacy rules for Internet service providers and plans to expand subsidies to cover broadband.

Across the Capitol, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine the security of U.S. visa programs. http://1.usa.gov/1pd8HYw

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss late-term abortion on Tuesday. http://1.usa.gov/21mFt5t

 

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