The Department of Labor’s rule to amend the definition of fiduciary for retirement advice survived one hurdle late Tuesday as the omnibus spending bill did not include riders requiring the rule to undergo another comment period or to defund the rule.
While Congress reached a deal late Tuesday evening on the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill, supporters of DOL’s bill to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act are bracing for other assaults on the rule.
A vote on the package is expected Thursday, though Republicans and Democrats will hold conferences on the bill Wednesday before final passage.
The rider was opponents’ “best opportunity to kill the rule before it was completed,” said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America.
Once the fiduciary rule is finalized, Congress could pass a resolution to disapprove the rule within 60 days under the Congressional Review Act. But President Barack Obama would likely veto such a resolution.
Lawsuits as well as legislation to replace DOL’s rule remain at play. Opponents “will doubtless continue [their] multi-front war” on the DOL rule, Roper said, with the “next big challenge to the rule is from the inevitable industry lawsuit” as well as “additional headaches” from Congress.