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GOP Lawmakers Demand More Info on DOL, SEC Fiduciary Collaboration (Again)

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Two top GOP lawmakers are renewing their call that the Department of Labor hand over all the correspondence the department has had with the SEC regarding DOL’s ERISA fiduciary redraft.

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee, told Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in a Tuesday letter that they were not satisfied with the answers Perez gave to them after their previous requests for such information.

The lawmakers sent similar letters to Perez on March 4 and March 24. “On both occasions, the department failed to provide the requested information,” Kline and Roe told Perez.

“Unfortunately, despite two previous inquiries, the committee has not yet received compelling information from DOL that meaningful coordination has taken place between DOL and the SEC,” the two wrote in their Tuesday letter.

Kline and Roe told Perez to provide to them no later than June 16 all of the “documents and communications after September 19, 2011, between DOL and SEC relating to DOL’s fiduciary rulemaking, including but not limited to all documents and materials addressing how DOL has considered, adopted or discarded any concerns raised by the SEC as DOL devised its fiduciary rulemaking.”

The committee, the two lawmakers said, is concerned “with the potential impact of this complex [fiduciary rule] initiative on workers and retirees and believes any rulemaking on this matter should be the product of coordination” with the SEC.

The two lawmakers said that DOL’s latest response letter stated the communications between DOL and the SEC are “part of its deliberative process.”

However, Kline and Roe stated in their letter that the Committee “disagrees that documents can be shielded from Constitutionally-authorized Congressional oversight for this reason.”

Furthermore, they continued, “the claim is particularly inappropriate in this case where the materials sought involve communications between different agencies. Indeed, the administration has specifically publicized its coordination with the SEC (including claims that SEC provided significant technical assistance) both in its responses to our earlier inquiries and in public relations information disseminated by the Department. It defies explanation that DOL would assert publicly that coordination with the SEC took place and yet refuse to release documents substantiating its assertion.”