Eugene Scalia, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Labor Department, said Thursday that he would, if confirmed, “seek guidance from the designated ethics official” at Labor as to his ability to participate in crafting a fiduciary rule.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, stated to Scalia during the Thursday nomination hearing that he’s “had a lot of work in overturning the [now vacated Obama administration fiduciary] rule.” She then asked Scalia: “Would you recuse yourself from participating in DOL’s forthcoming revised fiduciary rule because of that?”
Scalia responded: “As you know, there are federal ethics rules that will govern what matters that I can work on, when I’m at the department, where there might have been some prior connection on my part or the part of my firm or a client. So in the case of the fiduciary rule, I would seek guidance from the designated agency ethics official at the Department of Labor regarding what my ability to participate would be.”
Murray also probed Scalia on whether he believed retirees were entitled to unconflicted advice, stating that the Obama administration “worked to help retirement savers to get retirement advice that was free of conflicts of interest…You’ve been an outspoken critic” of the fiduciary rule, and “you fought to get it overturned,” Murray said.
“Do you think families seeking professional investment advice about their retirement savings deserve advice that is in their best interest?” Murray asked Scalia.