The House Appropriations Committee released a draft fiscal year 2016 funding bill, which includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.
The bill provides a total of $11.7 billion for the DOL—$206 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.4 billion below the President’s request. In a section called “Reducing Harmful Red Tape,” the committee says the “legislation includes several provisions designed to help U.S. businesses create jobs and grow the economy by reducing or eliminating overly burdensome government regulations,” including a provision “prohibiting regulatory changes to the definition of the term ‘Fiduciary.’”
Since the DOL proposed its new fiduciary rule in April, some in the industry have expressed concern that the rule will adversely affect retirement savers, especially those with small accounts.
Last month, a group of Republican senators asked the DOL to give the public more time to weigh in on the fiduciary proposal. In the request, the senators said more time is needed for “thorough consideration of all issues and interests to make sure working and middle-income Americans are not harmed” by changes to the fiduciary standard prescribed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
The Appropriations Committee bill will be considered in subcommittee Wednesday. More information is here.