OMB recommends nullifying DOL, DOI, and DOE final rules

The Office of Management and Budget has issued a statement disapproving four final regulations published as early as August 1, 2016. This takes the form of a House resolution (cited H.J. Res.) to nullify the regulations, and if passed by both chambers of Congress, the rules will be repealed.

H.J. Res. 42 would nullify the Employment and Training Administration’s Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program; Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Provision on Establishing Appropriate Occupations for Drug Testing of Unemployment Compensation Applicants 81 Fed. Reg. 50298 (August 1, 2016, effective September 30, 2016), promulgated by the Department of Labor. For context, the rule states: Continue reading “OMB recommends nullifying DOL, DOI, and DOE final rules”


Trump signed Pres. memo, “Fiduciary Duty Rule”

This presidential memo directs the Secretary of Labor to reexamine the “fiduciary rule” issued in final form in April 2016 and set to take effect on April 10, 2017.

At issue here is the Department of Labor’s newly propogated regulation entitled “Definition of the Term ‘‘Fiduciary’’; Conflict of Interest Rule—Retirement Investment Advice,” 81 Fed. Reg. 20946.

At the National Law Review, Scott A. Cammarn and other authors observe that this rule expanded the term “fiduciary” to include “plans and individual retirement accounts under the Employee Income Retirement Security Act of 1974 and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in connection with the provision of investment advice.”

As context, most financial advisors are already required to give this care and consideration to their clients, but the field of advisors to which this duty of care applied was narrowed by a Labor regulation in 1975. As explained in 81 Fed. Reg. 20946, if an advisor did not fit under this 1975 “five-part test” analysis, then that person could have conflicts of interests, give disloyal advice, steer consumers to invest based on their own interests, and have limited liability from any harms resulting from the advice given. One of the categories that fell through the gap was retirement planning – and the April 2016 rule closed it. Continue reading “Trump signed Pres. memo, “Fiduciary Duty Rule””

Trump signed E.O., “Core Principles for Regulating the U.S. Financial System”

This executive order sets the new tone for financial regulations as “Core Principles” notably lacking in consumer protection.

General reform of the financial market arose as a response to economic crises, from the Great Depression (Glass-Steagall Act) to the more recent 2008 crash (Dodd-Frank Act).  Glass-Steagall created a firewall between the banking, investment, and insurance industries. Every reform since then has questioned, revoked, and replaced such separations between the firms.

Section 1 of this executive order set out the overarching policies and values this administration will focus on for likely upcoming financial reform.

At the National Law Review, Scott A. Cammarn and other authors observe that the Core Principles noticeably lack any reference to consumer protection or the new direction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate government entities like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Volcker Rule, or small bank relief.
Continue reading “Trump signed E.O., “Core Principles for Regulating the U.S. Financial System””

Trump proclaims 1/22-1/28 of 2017 as “National School Choice Week”

Trump is calling for a week-long national observance regarding the “school choice” movement.

The President has the authority to call for national observances under 1 C.F.R. § 19.4. Procedurally, the President must submit 60 days before the date of observation to the Director of OMB. This proclamation was released four days after the first date of observation. Notwithstanding,  National School Choice week has been in full swing since 2011.

What is School Choice?

At the New York Times, Kevin Carey describes the two types of “market-based” school reforms which build the “school choice” platform: voucher programs and charter schools. Continue reading “Trump proclaims 1/22-1/28 of 2017 as “National School Choice Week””