The Department of Labor has asked federal Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn for a stay in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lawsuit to reverse the fiduciary rule.
Lynn had promised a ruling in the case by Friday. The lawsuit, filed in District Court for the Northern District of Texas, was heard Nov. 17 in Dallas.
The DOL, under Acting Secretary Edward C. Hugler, asked for a stay until March 10 in deference to “a status report that Defendants propose to file.”
“Such a stay would make sense for the judiciary, the parties and the affected public,” reads the motion, which was filed today.
It is expected Lynn will rule quickly on the stay request.
The DOL status report was requested Friday by President Donald J. Trump in a memorandum that asked the DOL to “examine the Fiduciary Duty Rule” and to “prepare an updated economic and legal analysis” of the rule.
Published by the Obama administration on April 6, 2016, the DOL rule is not in Trump’s plans. Supporters say the administration is seeking ways to delay and eventually kill the rule.
Trump was expected to order a delay Friday, but that plan was scotched by White House lawyers at the last minute.
The rule – which extends a fiduciary duty to anyone working with retirement funds -- will apply to advisors and agents on April 10.This is known as its “applicability date.”
The administration’s legal team convinced the White House to back off challenging the definitions of “effective” and “applicability.” The DOL was expected to seek a delay through a published notice in the Federal Register this week.
To the extent that the new analysis reveals problems, the labor secretary is directed to “publish for notice and comment a [new] proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule.”
Trump’s labor secretary nominee, fast food CEO Andrew Puzder, is expected to have his confirmation hearing later this month.
The DOL could opt to publish a new rule reversing the fiduciary rule. That is a long process that includes public hearings and public comment periods.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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