The Republican takeover of the House predicted by key pundits next month would have a major impact on legislation related to retirement plans and the firms that manage their money — but only measures with broad bipartisan support are likely to become law.
Speculation about what changes Republicans might impose have been running rampant in Washington because polling suggests the GOP could win control of both the House and Senate on Nov. 2, though a House takeover is considered more likely.
The prospects for long-pending legislation to enhance retirement plan fee disclosures are expected to fade entirely if Republicans win control of the House. That's because Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the bill's key proponent, would lose his leadership post.
Sealing the measure's fate would be Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who's in line to succeed Mr. Miller as chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee should there be a GOP takeover, opposed the Miller bill previously.
Spokeswoman Alexa Marrero said Mr. Kline was not available for comment, but in a June 24, 2009, statement before a committee vote on the Miller bill, Mr. Kline said House Republicans supported disclosure only in concept.
“What we do not support is disclosure that has no real value, or worse, that has the potential to actually harm workers,” Mr. Kline said in the statement.
Aaron Albright, a spokesman for Mr. Miller, declined to comment.
A GOP takeover of the House also could breathe new life into a proposal that would subject money management firms to regulation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
That would be the case because Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., — who is would succeed Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee — backed legislation last year that would have subjected the roughly 4,000 money management firms associated with broker-dealers to FINRA regulation. FINRA is an industry self-regulatory organization that currently regulates broker-dealers; it is subject to SEC oversight.
Mr. Bachus' spokeswoman, Marisol Garibay, had not returned telephone calls or an e-mail seeking comment by press time.