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NAFA: Congresswoman Ann Wagner will ‘punch a bear’ to halt DOL

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Washington, D.C. — Rhetoric runs rampant in Washington, D.C., especially among legislators, but Congresswoman Ann Wagner, R-Mo., is fighting mad about the DOL’s fiduciary rule. How mad? Mad enough to put aside words and put up her dukes to “punch a bear” if it means an end to the DOL’s fiduciary rule, she joked to a frothy audience at the 2015 NAFA Annuity Leadership Forum.

Rep. Wagner regaled the annuity leaders about her background in song and Shakespeare before launching into an aggressive campaign against the DOL, President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“We are at war with the Department of Labor,” Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said at the event held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Since it hit the public conversation, Rep. Wagner has been among the most vocal opponents of the proposed fiduciary rule. In April of this year, Rep. Wagner released the following comments: “Today’s proposed rule from the Department of Labor potentially harms the very people that it claims to protect: low- and moderate-income Americans seeking advice for investing for their retirement. It would greatly expand the definition of a fiduciary under ERISA and fails to take into account the vast regulatory structure already in place.”

Rep. Wagner is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and, in February, she introduced the Retail Investor Protection Act to counter the proposed rule. 

Wagner continued: “This ill-advised, top-down assault on local financial advisers and broker-dealers is typical of President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Instead of allowing hard-working Americans access to affordable, sound financial advice to prepare for the future, they have created a solution in search of a problem to further hurt the middle class.”

Rep. Wagner concluded her speech with another salvo against her opponents who have gone after the annuity industry.

“No matter what this administration and Sen. Elizabeth Warren think or say, you are not snake-oil salesmen. I know you and who you represent — the people saving for retirement — and what you do is honorable and it’s noble and I will not stand by and let you get bashed. You are family. So I implore you to help me help you help them.”

Check out more of our NAFA coverage here.

See also: AALU: Life industry facing a ‘bloody battle’ over DOL’s fiduciary rule