The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution of disapproval of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule today by a 234 to 183 vote.
The vote was almost entirely along party lines — one Republican voted nay.
If the resolution is approved in the Senate, it is all but guaranteed to be vetoed by President Obama.
A statement yesterday from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget said, “It is essential that these critical protections go into effect.”
“If the President were presented with the House disapproval measure, he would veto the bill,” said OMB.
Today’s vote suggests Republican opponents of DOL’s rule will unlikely be able to garner enough support to override a presidential veto — 290 votes would be required in the House, assuming all 435 members vote. A two-thirds majority in the Senate would also be required to kill DOL’s rule.
Notwithstanding the uphill battle, industry interest groups remain galvanized against the rule, even as more of their constituents are rolling out product adjustments to assure compliance.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Financial Services Institute were among eight industry group signatories to a letter to lawmakers urging their support for the disapproval resolution.
In a separate letter, Paul Schott Stevens, president of the Investment Company Institute, said “the final rule imposes significant new liability through a complicated, back-door regulatory regime that will have will have the effect of limiting available advice options for many people.”
In a statement released just after today’s vote, House Education and the Workforce Committee chair Rep. John Kline, R-Minnesota, said, “when it takes the federal government more than a thousand pages to define a single word, chances are working families are going to get hurt.”
During the floor debate preceding the vote, Republicans made repeated reference to the length of DOL’s rule.
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, said Republicans’ main complaint — that the rule is too long — was indicative of the weakness in their overall arguments opposing the rule.
Scott said members were “wasting their time,” noting the President Obama’s intention to veto the disapproval resolutions, and the unlikelihood that there would be enough votes to override that veto.
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