Boehner Slams Obama Administration for Advice Move

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) today blasted the decision by the Obama Administration to withdraw the final regulations on investment advice.

In a statement, Boehner, a long time advocate of the advice provisions contained in the Pension Protection Act (PPA), and subsequently embodied in the advice regulations, criticized the move by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) in rescinding the final advice regulations (see “EBSA Pulls Back Controversial Advice Mandate”). 

“It is outrageous that the Obama Administration would deny workers their right to high-quality investment advice that could help them restore valuable savings that have been lost because of this economic recession. The American people are counting on both parties in Washington to work together on real solutions to help them rebuild their nest eggs, yet the Administration’s actions today would hurt millions of families struggling in this troubled economy. That’s unacceptable,” Boehner said in a statement. 

Klein ‘Disappointed’

Congressman John Kline (R-Minnesota), the top Republican on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, also criticized the move.  “I am disappointed the Obama Administration has chosen to deprive working Americans of access to the high-quality, personalized investment advice they so desperately need and want,” said Kline in a statement. “The Pension Protection Act, which cleared the way for workers to receive customized retirement planning advice, was enacted by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. I am deeply troubled the Administration would unilaterally withdraw these regulations and deprive millions of Americans of an additional tool to help them plan for a secure retirement.” 

“With the economy languishing, the Administration should be focused on creating jobs and empowering workers. Instead, they’re investing time and energy in dismantling important worker protections. Working families deserve better,” said Kline. 

Boehner noted, “Republicans are committed to offering better solutions to help restore Americans’ savings and ensure that Washington does not stand in the way.  It’s time for Washington Democrats to end the policies that are destroying Americans’ savings and work with Republicans on better solutions to rebuild them.”  

Boehner noted that in March, House Republicans unveiled the Savings Recovery Act (H.R. 2021) to “help Americans protect and rebuild their hard-earned savings as quickly as possible,” but that “to date, the Democratic leadership in Congress has blocked this common-sense proposal, and instead advocated legislation that could drive up 401(k) costs and reduce American workers’ access to high-quality, professional investment advice.”

The investment advice bill has been under much contention, with some retirement plan advisers and other critics blasting the regulation for allowing participants to receive “conflicted advice” (see “Controversy Brews over Investment Advice Regs”).