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Senate Panel Sets Confirmation Hearing Date for Biden's Labor Pick

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The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. Thursday to confirm Marty Walsh, President Joe Biden’s pick to be the next Labor secretary.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is the HELP Committee’s incoming chair; Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., will serve as Ranking Member.

If confirmed, a more stringent Labor fiduciary prohibited transaction exemption to align with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest is likely on tap under Walsh, a former top union leader.

Walsh, a Democrat, was sworn in to serve a second term as mayor on Jan.1, 2018. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 to 2014, representing the 13th Suffolk district.

If confirmed as Labor secretary, all eyes will be on whether Walsh decides to amend or scrap Labor’s fiduciary prohibited transaction exemption, which is intended to align with Reg BI.

Industry officials anticipate that the Biden administration will toughen the Labor rule, which was enacted in the final days of the Trump administration

The Insured Retirement Institute sent a Monday letter to members of the HELP Committee asking them to probe Walsh during his confirmation hearing on how he would expand savings opportunities for America’s workers and retirees.

“Would the nominee support generally requiring small businesses with 10 or more employees to offer a workplace retirement plan into which workers would be automatically enrolled with the right to opt-out?” IRI asked.

Also, would Walsh “support allowing employers to provide matching contributions into an employee’s retirement account based on the amount of the employee’s student loan payments?”