The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule could be delayed “within days” of the new administration through action taken by Labor, instructions from the White House, or pending court cases, David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said Wednesday. “There’s no one mechanism to achieve delay” in the rule’s implementation.
Speaking to reporters at the Chamber’s 2017 State of American Business Address in Washington, Hirschmann said the rule could be halted before legislation is passed.
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced on Jan. 6 a bill to delay the rule’s implementation by two years.
“It’s helpful to have Congress weighing in on the delay, but we need action before a bill could be signed into law,” Hirschmann said in separate comments to ThinkAdvisor.
The April 10 compliance deadline, he added in comments to reporters, “was not going to work one way or the other. We would be pressing equally hard on a Clinton administration to delay because it just doesn’t work. It was a deadline driven by political motives rather than practical realities.”
The first step a new administration would take to change a rule “is to delay it,” he added. “That’s what we’re looking for this administration to do in a very timely fashion because April is right around the corner.”
After delay, the next move is “to figure out what to do to fix the rule, and that’s going to take a combination of DOL … coming up with a different approach and perhaps the [Securities and Exchange Commission] looking at it.”
The rule’s best interest contract exemption is still problematic because “the primary enforcement mechanism” for the BICE is the class-action trial bar, Hirschmann argued.
Indeed, Thomas Donohue, Chamber’s president and CEO, said at the event that President-elect Trump could “eliminate the rule immediately” through an executive order.
On Jan. 20, “President Trump can begin to eliminate the regulatory burden imposed by executive orders. We urge him to act immediately and continually,” Donohue said. “Congress can also move quickly on some of the recently imposed regulations by using the Congressional Review Act.”