Welcome to Financial Advisor IQ
Follow

Democratic Takeover of House Could Spell Trouble for SEC’s Advice Standards

November 6, 2018

The SEC’s proposed Regulation Best Interest could face far more scrutiny and hurdles if the Democrats take over the House of Representatives in today’s midterm elections, according to ThinkAdvisor.

If the Democrats succeed, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would take over from Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, as chair of the House Financial Services Committee, the publication writes.

Waters has been a fierce critic of the SEC’s proposed advice standards overhaul. She was one of 35 House and Senate Democrats who sent a letter to SEC chairman Jay Clayton accusing the SEC of not following the Dodd-Frank mandate to establish a uniform fiduciary standard applicable to both advisors and brokers, Duane Thompson, senior policy analyst at technology and training firm Fi360, tells ThinkAdvisor.

Waters would pose more questions and raise further concerns for Clayton and could bring in consumer advocacy groups opposed to the current proposal to back her up, according to Thompson.

On the other hand, with Donald Trump remaining president, Waters may not be able to do much more than change the tone of the committee she would chair, David Tittsworth, counsel in Ropes & Gray’s Washington, D.C., investment management practice, told FA magazine recently.

Trump can veto any legislation, which would require two-thirds of both the House and the Senate to overturn — an unlikely prospect, he said.

But regardless of the election outcome, Congress will likely move swiftly after the election to move on legislation encouraging retirement savings, as the issue has strong bipartisan support, Thompson tells ThinkAdvisor.

Meanwhile, far more Americans are expected to vote this year than in the 2014 midterms, according to Politico. Edison Media Research predicts that 105.5 million will vote in the current election cycle, compared to 82 million who voted in 2014, although that’s still less than the 137 million Americans who voted for president in 2016, the publication writes. But as of Monday evening, 36 million people had voted ahead of election day — which could spell surprises, according to Politico.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Politico article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.