Lawmakers and public interest groups are balking at the short 30-day comment period the Labor Department has given for its newly proposed exemption for investment advice fiduciaries.
Labor “cut the minimum 60-day comment period in half to just 30 days,” said Stephen Hall, legal director and securities specialist for Better Markets, in a Wednesday statement. “And for another related rule, it skipped the comment period entirely and just declared it ‘final.’”
Hall called the 30-day comment period a “secretive approach to rulemaking [that] is unreasonable, unfair, and contrary to the law.”
The new exemption to align with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest was released on June 29, a day before Reg BI’s June 30 effective date. Labor’s proposal was published in the Federal Register on July 7. Comments are due to Labor by Aug. 6.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, sent a letter to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia requesting an extended comment period.
Labor’s plan, the lawmakers said, is “a weaker version which would let financial advisors put their own interests ahead of their clients.’”