While Democrats continued a sit-in Wednesday night over gun control, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., managed to hold a chaotic vote in a bid to kill the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.
The vote failed along party lines by a 239-180 vote, about 40 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed.
The strange scene began around 10 p.m. when Ryan entered the chamber and attempted to gavel the House to order. Ryan tried to talk over the Democrats gathered in the chamber, but the protestors, along with some gallery spectators, began shouting and chanting over the speaker.
Ryan called for the vote to override President Barack Obama's veto of a House bill to nullify the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule. The House and Senate passed a measure earlier this year blocking the DOL rule under the Congressional Review Act, but Obama vetoed it.
Ryan took to Twitter as the vote played out.
The House is now voting to override President Obama’s veto of our repeal of his #FiduciaryRule, which hurts Americans saving for retirement.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 23, 2016
House Democrats quickly fired back:
— Steny Hoyer (@WhipHoyer) June 23, 2016
The DOL published new fiduciary rules in April, which cover advice provided regarding qualified retirement employer-sponsored plans and individual retirement accounts.
As Ryan spoke, he was barely audible over the chants of "No bill, no break." Democrats then began chanting "Shame, shame, shame," before singing "We shall overcome."
Fiduciary rule opponents say their main focus is in the federal court system, where five lawsuits challenging the DOL rule have been filed. Any delay off the rule, which is slated to take partial effect in April 2017, will delay it into the next administration.
House Republicans vowed to keep fighting.
Fell short of overriding president's veto stopping the #fiduciary rule which denies seniors sound financial advice. Will continue fight.
— Rep. Vicky Hartzler (@RepHartzler) June 23, 2016
DOL officials and public interest groups say the rules, which impose a fiduciary standard of care on financial advisors dealing with retirement accounts, are necessary to protect retirement investors from high commissions.
Critics say the DOL is trying to force the industry to move from a commission- to a fee-based model. The rule allows for commissions via a prohibited transaction exemption, but industry officials said it isn’t realistic due to the burdensome regulations.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected].
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