Senate Will Vote to Protect American Retirement Account Decisions
‘By blocking this state-run retirement plan regulation — like we already did with a similar regulation aimed at municipalities — we can empower families in making their own decisions when it comes to saving for the future.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding action through the Congressional Review Act to undo an Obama-era retirement regulation:
“In recent months, the Republican Congress has voted to provide much-needed relief to the American people from Obama Administration regulations pushed out the door at the 11th hour. We’ve voted to eliminate 13 harmful regulations already, using the tools contained in the Congressional Review Act, and we’ll vote to eliminate another later today.
“Too often, the Obama Administration pursued regulations that grew government at the expense of jobs, wages, and economic growth. Too often, under the guise of helping ordinary Americans, the administration was really just helping to expand the reach of government. That is certainly the case with the regulation we are considering today. President Obama’s Department of Labor issued regulations that would impose new burdens on employers and employees when it comes to saving for retirement.
“These regulations would give state officials the power to force employers to enroll their employees into government-run savings plans. Though these state-run plans might not seem too bad on the surface, what they really add up to is more government at the expense of the private sector and American workers. They would provide government-run retirement plans with a competitive advantage over private sector workplace plans, while providing fewer basic consumer protections to the workers who would be forced to contribute to them.
“As I mentioned when we voted on a related regulation concerning municipalities, states always had the power to set up these plans — but until this regulation, they had to actually follow federal laws that protect the workers who would be automatically enrolled. In other words, states preferred that the basic retirement protections that apply to those who manage private sector retirement plans not apply to the government too.
“As a coalition of employers and human resource managers recently pointed out, the Obama Administration was ‘encouraging state governments to provide private sector employees retirement programs that do not have the same high-level protections as other private employer-sponsored plans.’ So, as they put it, ‘passage of [the legislation before the Senate] would ensure that all retirement plans for private sector workers are subject to equal consumer protections under the law.’
“That’s why we’ll vote today to overturn this regulation, which undermines a private retirement savings-system that millions of Americans have counted on for decades. By blocking this state-run retirement plan regulation — like we already did with a similar regulation aimed at municipalities — we can empower families in making their own decisions when it comes to saving for the future.
“I want to recognize Senator Hatch, the Finance Committee Chairman, who’s been leading the charge on this important issue. I look forward to sending the bill to the president’s desk soon.”
Related Issues: Regulations