Overnight Regulation: Dem doubts persist over financial adviser rule

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington, where Senate Republicans say they won't hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee in 2016.

Here's a look at what else is happening.

 

THE BIG STORY

A controversial Obama administration rule that targets investment advisers is running into resistance on Capitol Hill -- not only from Republicans, but also some Democrats.

The Labor Department says its fiduciary rule would ensure retirees receive sound investment advice that is in their best interest. But critics say it would restrict access to professional advice for the people who need it most.

Democrats have long expressed concerns about the rule and that discontent remains.

Our Peter Schroeder has the story:

Several House Democrats are airing their grievances with the Obama administration's attempt to crack down on the work of retirement investment advisers.

With the regulatory initiative nearing the finish line, some lawmakers continue to express deep reservations with the "fiduciary rule" that is intended to protect people from unscrupulous financial advisers.

Over half of House Democrats in September expressed worries about the regulation. The latest letter, signed by nine Democrats and obtained by The Hill, shows at least a few still harbor concerns about the effort.

"It is vital that the proposal doesn't limit consumer choice and access to advice, have a disproportionate impact on lower- or middle-income communities, or raise the costs of saving for retirement," warned the original letter, which the nine Democrats re-sent to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun DonovanShaun L. S. DonovanHouse Dems call on OMB to analyze Senate budget plan Overnight Finance: Dems turn up heat on Wells Fargo | New rules for prepaid cards | Justices dig into insider trading law GOP reps warn Obama against quickly finalizing tax rules MORE earlier this month.

The two-paragraph letter warns provisions of the rule could lead to "market disruptions" and prevent some people from obtaining investment advice.

The White House has been working to sew up Democratic support for the fiduciary rule, which has faced widespread opposition from the financial industry and leading business groups.

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, who spearheaded the rulemaking effort, is set to meet with House Democrats on Wednesday to discuss the regulation.

Regulators have tried for years to write rules that would require investment advisers for retirement plans to act solely for the benefit of their clients. The Labor Department had to scrap an earlier rulewriting effort after bipartisan opposition, and the project only got back on track after President Obama publicly threw his weight behind the initiative at the beginning of 2015. http://bit.ly/1SRDDKg

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the Department of Education. http://1.usa.gov/1SREvPk

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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing to discuss how to respond to the Zikka virus. http://1.usa.gov/21dU9cz

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management will hold a hearing to examine the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. http://1.usa.gov/1TxHXNC

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 184 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will propose new affirmative action rules for federal workers with disabilities.

The affirmative action rules would apply to federal agencies, but not the private sector.

They would change the existing rules protecting federal workers with disabilities from discrimination.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1LEGQFq

--The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will issue new protections for a group of Pacific salmon.

The NMFS is establishing critical habitats to protect the lower Columbia River coho salmon and the Puget Sound steelhead. Both of these fish are considered threatened species.

The critical habitats will run through about 4,300 miles of freshwater in the Pacific Northwest.

The protections go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1L9DDTm

--The National Park Service (NPS) will propose new dog-walking regulations.

The dog-walking regulations would apply to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco, but not all national parks.

The NPS would designate where pet owners can walk their dogs or let them roam without a leash within the park. It would also clarify which areas of the park prohibit dogs.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1L9DCPi

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Reid lashes out at Grassley for Supreme Court stance http://bit.ly/1WH8lnJ

Chamber of Commerce urges next president to 'do big things' http://bit.ly/1TE8Hxq

Tech giants closely watching Supreme Court patent case http://bit.ly/1RZU5Hz

Columbine survivor calls for guns in schools http://bit.ly/1QehB2e

CDC warns more Zika cases linked to sex http://bit.ly/1SRW95o

OPM asked to show whether federal employee performance counts for awards or discipline - The Washington Post http://wapo.st/1MC5Wo2

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"They can decide those next year," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE (R-Texas) said when asked whether blocking a Supreme Court nominee could lead to split decisions on major cases.

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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