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REGULATION/LEGISLATION

Fiduciary rule cannot be stopped, Labor secretary says

Alexander Acosta
Alexander Acosta

The Department of Labor does not have the authority to undo the new fiduciary rule scheduled to take effect Friday, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told a House budget panel Wednesday.

“We have looked at it very carefully, multiple attorneys have looked at it, and the conclusion is that there is no basis to postpone,” Mr. Acosta said during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the DOL's proposed fiscal year 2018 budget.

“I have to be very careful because this is an ongoing litigation,” he said.

“If there were to be a change, that change would have to be based on information that is obtained through a record process. If that information supports it, then the administration could consider a new rule. That sounds cumbersome but it's about process. No one in government should be able to snap their fingers and undo something. That's how democracy works.”

Mr. Acosta said that the Administrative Procedure Act “prohibits me from prejudging the rule. We need the data to substantiate those concerns. Those concerns were voiced the first time around and unfortunately those were not heard.”