[Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 158 (Tuesday, October 27, 2015)]
[House]
[Pages H7201-H7207]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1090, RETAIL INVESTOR PROTECTION 
                                  ACT

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on 
Rules, I call up House Resolution 491 and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 491

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 1090) to 
     amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide 
     protections for retail customers, and for other purposes. All 
     points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. 
     An amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the 
     text of Rules Committee Print 114-31 shall be considered as 
     adopted. The bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. 
     All points of order against provisions in the bill, as 
     amended, are waived. The previous question shall be 
     considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any 
     further amendment thereto, to final passage without 
     intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate equally 
     divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
     member of the Committee on Financial Services; (2) the 
     further amendment printed in the report of the Committee on 
     Rules accompanying this resolution, if offered by 
     Representative Lynch of Massachusetts or his designee, which 
     shall be in order without intervention of any point of order, 
     shall be considered as read, shall be separately debatable 
     for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the 
     proponent and an opponent, and shall not be subject to a 
     demand for division of the question; and (3) one motion to 
     recommit with or without instructions.

  The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 1 hour.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, 
I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. 
Polis), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During 
consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose 
of debate only.


                             general leave

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
to include extraneous materials on House Resolution 491 currently under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to bring 
forward this rule on behalf of the Rules Committee and the hundreds of 
thousands of young men and women who one day hope to retire.
  The rule provides for consideration of H.R. 1090, the Retail Investor 
Protection Act. The Rules Committee met on this measure yesterday 
evening and heard testimony from both the chairman and ranking member 
of the Financial Services Committee.
  The rule brought forward by the committee is a structured rule. There 
was only one amendment submitted to the Rules Committee on this bill, 
and the House will have the opportunity to debate and vote on the 
amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Lynch) later 
today.

                              {time}  1245

  This legislation went through regular order in the Financial Services 
Committee and was also passed by the House in the 113th Congress by a 
vote of 254-166 with a number of my friends from the other side of the 
aisle voting for the legislation. I hope we can put aside our political 
differences and vote in a similar bipartisan fashion here today.
  This rule provides for 1 hour of general debate equally divided and 
controlled by the chairman and ranking member of the Financial Services 
Committee.
  Mr. Speaker, I look forward to hearing the stories that Members will 
share highlighting the desperate need for H.R. 1090 to become law.
  I also have heard firsthand from men and women in my district who are 
scared about their financial future. Navigating retirement planning can 
be a difficult task, especially for young men and women just entering 
the workforce. They often rely on financial planners to offer advice on 
the steps they need to take today so one day they can retire.
  I had the opportunity to meet with one of those financial planners in 
my office just a few months ago. Beth Baldwin is a financial planner 
who works for Edward Jones in my hometown of Gainesville, Georgia. She 
took the time to come to Washington to meet with me and other elected 
officials because she was scared about the impact that the fiduciary 
rule would have on her ability to do her job. She told me that the 
administration's fiduciary rule prevents her from helping people.
  Beth told me that financial advisers should always provide advice 
that is in their client's best interest, but the rule places 
unnecessary and burdensome requirements on both advisers and clients.
  That is not what we are about as a country, Mr. Speaker. We are the 
world's greatest economic engine, the land of hope and opportunity, 
because we believe in the ingenuity and hard work of people. Our 
founders believed in people. They were on their team, and they created 
a governmental structure that is for the people and by the people. 
Frankly, Mr. Speaker, that is what this Republican majority stands for: 
the people who get up every day looking to how they can make it better.
  The Republican majority is for people. We believe in their hopes, we 
believe in their dreams, and we want them to succeed. When my son gets 
a little older and starts thinking about retirement, I want him to be 
able to go to a professional and get some advice and seek good 
information.
  If H.R. 1090 isn't signed into law, then financial advisers like Beth 
Baldwin won't be able to help him. In fact, they won't be able to help 
others who have helped my family, like Wayne Parrish, who is a dear 
friend of our family, but is also someone who advises us in our 
financial decisions. This is something that is threatening not only his 
livelihood, but many teachers that work with my wife. This is about 
people, Mr. Speaker.
  Across the Nation today, there are 9 million households that rely on 
small business retirement plans. And there are 3 million small-saver 
households. These are the people who need Congress now, more than ever, 
to be on their team.
  To them, this debate isn't over definitions and enhanced coordination 
and studies. It is over their future. It is over their ability to make 
informed decisions, to find somebody like Beth or Wayne or a number of 
others all across this country who can help them plan for the future.
  Financial advisers should be free to offer advice to their clients 
based on what is best for them as individuals and small businesses, not 
based on what advice most limits their liability.
  Saving for retirement is already difficult. It requires tough 
decisions. But the one thing that can keep a devastating financial 
decision from being made is advice from a qualified professional.
  I in no way believe we should model our policies after other 
countries. We have talked about that before here. However, when we can 
learn from their mistakes, we should.

[[Page H7202]]

  The United Kingdom implemented a similar rule in 2013. Two years 
later we can see the negative effects. The rule has created an advice 
gap in which 60,000 investors are unable to receive financial advice 
because their accounts are too small.
  Mr. Speaker, I know some stories that have been told on the floor and 
from many Members here. I remember when I and my wife were just 
starting out. To tell me what little bit that I had saved was too small 
is an affront to the very free enterprise system that helps people 
climb to where they want to go and fulfill their dreams. We should 
never be satisfied with when we tell people they can't get advice 
because their pot, so to speak, is too small.
  Several of my constituents from northeast Georgia recently wrote to 
me about the administration's fiduciary rule. Here is what they said: 
``The rule as proposed is not workable and would have numerous 
unintended consequences for American workers and retirement savers, 
particularly those who are middle class. The requirements in the rule 
would drive the market to fee-based arrangements that are used only for 
wealthier clients and are not the best fit for many investors. As a 
result, middle-class savers would be forced into low-service, do-it-
yourself accounts, depriving them of meaningful, personalized planning 
advice.''
  Let me repeat that: ``depriving them of meaningful, personalized 
planning advice.''
  We are here today as the Republican majority, advancing H.R. 1090, 
because we are for the middle class. Because we refuse to accept any 
rule from this administration that would deprive the middle class of 
the tools they need to make good financial decisions.
  One of my constituents also wrote: ``The time to act is now before 
Americans are deprived of consumer choice on how to plan for retirement 
and invest their savings.''
  Another said: ``Recently, I became aware of a proposed rule that 
would undermine my ability to plan for my retirement in ways I believe 
best for me.''
  It is the very heart of why we are here, Mr. Speaker. It is taking up 
for those who need someone to say: Government, it is time to let the 
free enterprise, time to let the middle class, the hardworking folks of 
our country, have advice and be able to access that.
  I cannot understand why some of my friends on the other side of the 
aisle support a rule that would undermine anyone's ability to plan for 
their retirement in ways that are best for them. This isn't a political 
issue. It is about people and their future. It is as simple as that.
  Financial planning isn't one size fits all. It is customized, 
individualized, based on the need of a particular family or small 
business. ObamaCare is a perfect example of what happens when the 
administration takes over an industry without regard to the needs of 
the middle and lower class.
  Another constituent wrote to me and said: ``With this rule, it seems 
the government has determined that I am not smart enough to make my own 
informed investment decisions. I do not agree. Saving for retirement is 
difficult enough. Why add more obstacles and complexity? I urge you to 
please preserve the freedoms investors currently enjoy to choose how we 
invest in our retirement accounts and plan for a better financial 
tomorrow.''

  This administration, Mr. Speaker, is already costing families jobs, 
constitutional liberties, affordable quality health care, and a strong 
national defense. Let's not also take away from them the ability to 
plan for retirement.
  I remember when, just a little over 27 years ago, my wife and I 
walked down the aisle and we said, ``I do,'' for better, for worse, for 
richer, for poorer. And, Mr. Speaker, we have been through all of that.
  But, at times, we had people who came into our lives, investment 
advice that would help us with her teacher retirement, help us with 
advice that I didn't have the time or really the understanding to work 
on.
  If we take that away from folks like myself and families in my 
district and families in your district and families all over the 
country, then what are we saying to the American people? We are saying: 
the government knows better than you.
  I am a firm believer that this government was started and will stand 
both for the people and of the people, and that is what this Republican 
majority is doing today. That is why this rule is important, and that 
is why this bill is important.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 30 
minutes, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker. Rather than having a mere Speaker 
pro tempore, as I had the opportunity to do as a freshman in the 
majority, it is always exciting to be presided over by the actual 
Speaker of the body, the second in line to be President of the United 
States, and particularly somebody who has dedicated so much of his life 
to public service, Mr. Speaker, as you have, and left his mark on this 
institution.
  I am sure that there will be additional opportunities for showing our 
great regard and esteem with which this body holds you, Mr. Speaker. 
But I think it is somewhat apt that perhaps, if not the final time you 
act as presiding officer of this body, at least the final rule is 
related to retirement, which you, Mr. Speaker, will presumably soon be 
experiencing, and is an important topic of discussion for this body.
  Now, we may have our disagreements about whether curtailing this rule 
is in the interest of the American people or not, but I know that we 
both have a deep and abiding interest in making sure that Americans are 
safe in their retirement. I think it is wonderful that you are 
highlighting the importance of retirement security by presiding over 
this particular debate yourself, Mr. Speaker.
  I rise in opposition to the rule, which is a structured rule for H.R. 
1090. Frankly, it is premature to be considering this bill when we 
don't know what the final rules will look like out of the Department of 
Labor, rather than allow the Department of Labor to continue doing its 
job, which has included many stakeholders.
  I know firsthand the Secretary of Labor has not only reached out to 
me and met with me on numerous occasions as well as my colleagues on 
both sides of the aisle and has appeared before one of the committees 
of jurisdiction that I serve on, the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce, of which you, Mr. Speaker, are a prior chair as well, and 
engaged with the financial services community, consumer protection 
organizations, and many others in his very earnest and serious attempt 
at making sure that the many shortcomings of the initial draft rule, 
which you and I might agree on, Mr. Speaker, are addressed in the final 
rulemaking. I think the Secretary deserves that opportunity. The 
hardworking men and women of the Department of Labor deserve that 
opportunity.
  And then, if, in fact, the mark is missed, it might be appropriate 
for this body to consider amending or changing any rule to address the 
fears that both of us share on both sides of the aisle with regard to 
ensuring that people of low and moderate income do have access to high-
quality advice and that the legitimate educational activities of 
financial services organizations are allowed to continue to provide 
that type of advice.
  Now, this legislation is somewhat wrapped in a seemingly arcane 
matter. It has to do with whether it is under the jurisdiction of the 
Department of Labor or the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding 
new fiduciary standards of care.
  We had the chair of the Financial Services Committee, Mr. Hensarling, 
before us in the Rules Committee yesterday. He simply said that, under 
Dodd-Frank, the SEC has the ability to pass rules regarding fiduciary 
standards of care. I don't think anybody disputes that the SEC has the 
legal authority to do so.
  I question here--and I think this was well established--that they are 
unlikely, because of their ongoing implementation work in many other 
areas, to get to this any time soon, whereas the Department of Labor is 
nearing the end of a 2-year-long-plus process around trying to make 
sensible rules to ensure that conflicts of interest within retirement 
advice are offered, consumer protections are provided, and

[[Page H7203]]

the market is allowed to operate in a more efficient way with regard to 
offering quality retirement products and appropriate retirement 
products to consumers.
  After the Department of Labor retracted the flawed first version of 
this rule several years ago, they released a new version of the rule in 
2015. They have been getting input from a broad spectrum of 
stakeholders through a long and extended comment period.
  I have provided feedback. Stakeholders in the retirement community 
have. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have. We all know 
what some of the fundamental issues that we are trying to address are, 
Mr. Speaker.
  Today most Americans are not saving enough for retirement and are not 
securing their retirement. The retirement savings gap is estimated at 
$14 trillion, and one in five Americans who are approaching retirement 
have zero private retirement savings.
  As the ranking member on the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions 
Subcommittee of the Education and the Workforce Committee, I am very 
interested in working in a bipartisan fashion to address this savings 
gap. Helping to make sure that Americans save for retirement is not a 
partisan issue. Whether one is a Democrat or a Republican, eventually, 
you are going to need to retire, some of us, Mr. Speaker, before 
others.
  This bill did not have to be partisan either. I think, if we had 
waited and targeted any particular flaws in the final rule, there might 
have been an ability to build a bipartisan consensus. I am optimistic 
that the Secretary of Labor and the Department of Labor will get their 
rules right.
  Investors need to be able to trust the person advising them about the 
money they need to live after retirement. On the other hand, we need to 
protect individuals' and small businesses' access to advice.
  Mistakes in investments cost billions of dollars to individuals and 
the economy. Of course, a mistake can occur with wrongful advice from 
somebody who has a conflict of interest, but mistakes can also occur if 
there is a lack of access to quality advice. We need to be cognizant of 
both of those potentials as we look at improving the ability of the 
American people to save for their retirement.
  I know that everybody involved with this rule and many of the 
stakeholders who will be impacted actually agree on a lot of the big 
concepts. They agree generally that financial advisers should use the 
best interest or fiduciary standard because the client's best interest 
should be paramount.
  The main disagreement is about how to make this happen and how to 
implement the rule in a way that makes sense. Most advisers today do 
what is in the best interest of their client. They are good actors, and 
they help their clients save for retirement.
  It is critical that our final rule, as the Secretary himself has 
said, does not upend an entire business model that works for good 
actors and works for many American families. However, making sure that 
we have a standard in place that the few bad actors need to abide by 
and are not able to wreak havoc in allowing American families to plan 
for their retirement is also essential.

                              {time}  1300

  Now, just because there is disagreement on some of the specifics of 
the rule doesn't mean that we should use a bill that wholesale removes 
this authority and transfers it entirely to an SEC entity, which is 
unlikely to proceed with rulemaking and can't even proceed with 
rulemaking while this President is in office under a timeline even if 
they were to begin expeditiously. So, effectively, this underlying 
legislation is an effort to thwart the ability of this President, this 
Secretary of Labor, and even the SEC under this President, from acting 
in a way to protect the American people from conflicts of interest in 
retirement products that are not suitable for their needs.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1090 would actually prevent the Department of Labor 
from issuing any sort of fiduciary rule until after the Securities and 
Exchange Commission issued a rule. Now, the Department of Labor clearly 
has the authority to write and implement this rule. That is not even 
being called into question; it is simply the timeline of which agency 
goes first. But due to the realities of the SEC, the Commission is not 
moving forward a rule any time in the near future, and that is simple 
reality.
  So what this bill actually does is it effectively kills the 
Department of Labor's ability under President Obama to update the 
fiduciary standard under ERISA. Would it make sense for Congress to 
mandate that the IRS couldn't take action to collect taxes until the 
Treasury acted first? This is a similar situation.
  I believe the Department of Labor must take into account the high 
number of outstanding questions and requests for comments that they 
proposed in the rule, the incredible volume of feedback the rule has 
received, including from myself and Members on both sides of the aisle 
and outside stakeholders. To date, there has been a number of letters 
from both parties requesting changes to the proposed rule. I signed 
onto a letter with 96 Democrats, and there are over 3,500 public 
comments, hundreds of thousands of people signing their names to 
petitions. The Department of Labor hopefully will listen to this 
feedback as they issue their final draft rule to make the effort 
streamlined while protecting investors and workers.
  My staff and I have had dozens of meetings and phone calls to the 
Department of Labor with Secretary Perez. I have submitted over two 
dozen questions for the record to the Department of Labor on the 
subject, and I am satisfied and optimistic that these concerns will be 
addressed in the final rule.
  I am just now leading a letter with several of my colleagues 
requesting an additional comment period to look at the changes the 
Department of Labor is planning to make to the rule. So the answer, I 
think, Mr. Speaker, is to take the time to get these rules right, make 
sure they don't have unintended consequences, and not prejudge them by 
invalidating them before they are out of the gate. That is what I 
consider a constructive way forward.
  Mr. Speaker, I have learned from these conversations that we need to 
move forward with a productive process, and I believe the Labor 
Secretary is committed to doing that. We may have disagreements about 
the final outcome, but we should see what that final outcome is before 
we pass legislation that requires us to pretend that the problem 
doesn't exist.
  While the specifics of the fiduciary rule are important, and DOL 
needs to make changes and communicate them to stakeholders, this 
legislation is very counterproductive to those ongoing discussions that 
have occurred over the last several years. This bill would effectively 
prevent protections from being implemented after years of work, 
meetings, and due diligence involving financial services companies and 
involving retirement advocacy organizations, not to mention the fact 
that this bill will not become law. The President has already put out a 
promise to veto the legislation should it reach his desk. So, instead, 
we should be spending our time on more important work for the American 
people. With just over a month to take action until a government 
shutdown and with the transportation bill expiring, we have six 
congressional working days to raise a clean debt ceiling. I am hopeful, 
Mr. Speaker, that you will be able to bear witness to that as a Member 
and leader of this body in the short future, in the next couple of 
days. Just as astonishing, we have the highway funding shutdown.
  So here we are again. I think that we need to work on bills that have 
a chance of becoming law. We shouldn't prejudge rules that I think the 
Secretary has really worked hard to ensure involve multiple 
stakeholders, and hopefully, we will be satisfied with the final rules 
that address many of the potential unintended consequences and concerns 
that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have raised, including 
myself.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the comments 
just made, but I think there is a general disagreement, and we will 
have a disagreement in just a few moments about article I and what we 
are supposed to be doing here and taking care of the American people.

[[Page H7204]]

  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the gentlewoman 
from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx).
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Georgia for 
yielding. In the spirit of bipartisanship, let me associate myself with 
the opening remarks and kind words of Mr. Polis about the Speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, if adopted, the proposed fiduciary rule would reduce 
access to reasonably priced investment options for lower and middle 
class families and small-business owners across the country. It will 
also increase costs for Americans trying their best to save for 
retirement.
  Our country faces difficult retirement challenges, and the last thing 
the Federal Government should do is create new barriers blocking the 
retirement security the American people deserve. The fact is we have 
seen this scheme before. This proposal contains many of the same flaws 
as the administration's failed 2010 proposal, which was ultimately 
withdrawn because of harsh bipartisan opposition.
  The Department of Labor's rushed and uncoordinated process has again 
resulted in an unworkable proposal, and I urge the administration to 
use the same logic that it did the first time and withdraw its damaged 
proposal.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, many American workers don't have access to 
paid sick days, which means they can't miss work without losing a day's 
pay or risking their job security. If we defeat the previous question, 
I will offer an amendment to the rule to bring up legislation that 
would allow workers to earn paid sick leave.
  Mr. Speaker, everyone should be able to take care of themselves or 
their loved ones when they are sick and not have to worry about losing 
their jobs or falling behind on their bills because of illness.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Colorado?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. POLIS. To discuss our proposal, I yield such time as she may 
consume to the distinguished gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. 
DeLauro).

  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the previous 
question. Defeating the previous question will allow us to amend the 
rule to provide for consideration of the Healthy Families Act. What is 
the Healthy Families Act? It is an act that would allow workers to earn 
up to 7 days of job-protected sick leave each year.
  Mr. Speaker, being a working parent should not mean choosing between 
your job and taking care of yourself and your family. But at least 43 
million private sector workers--39 percent of our workforce--must make 
this decision every time illness strikes. Millions more cannot earn 
paid sick time to care for a sick child or for a family member.
  Employers ultimately suffer when workers have to make this choice. 
Increased turnover rates amount to greater costs, and employers can 
jeopardize the health of other employees when their policies force 
employees to come to work sick.
  With regard to families, I listen to people--as we all do in our 
communities--all of the time. I can talk to you about Eva, the bus 
driver who picks up kids in the morning on their way to school. They 
are there with their parents, and she says that I see parents with 
tears in their eyes as they are putting their child on the bus, knowing 
that their child is sick, but they can't afford to stay home with that 
child because they could lose their job. They could get pay docked. 
They are making a choice, and that is not how they view themselves as a 
parent.
  Paid sick day policies have been enacted successfully at the State 
and at the local levels. Nearly 20 jurisdictions across the country 
have adopted paid sick days, and there is strong public support for 
universal access to paid sick days. Eighty-eight percent of Americans 
support paid sick day legislation.
  The Healthy Families Act allows working families to meet their health 
and their financial needs while boosting businesses' productivity and 
retention rates--strengthening our Nation's economy. It is common 
sense. It is business savvy. This is the right thing to do.
  Today there isn't a parent staying home with their children. Mothers, 
fathers, grandmothers, aunts, and uncles, everyone is in the workplace. 
Let our public policy reflect the way that families are trying to make 
it today. We need to work to protect public health, to boost the 
economy, and to help hardworking families have access to paid sick 
days.
  Let's pass the Healthy Families Act, and I urge my colleagues to 
oppose the previous question.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may 
consume to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Crenshaw).
  Mr. CRENSHAW. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this rule and the underlying 
legislation. I am the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Financial Services and General Government. My subcommittee is charged 
with overseeing the budget of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  That is the agency of the Federal Government that is charged with 
protecting investors and making sure that the capital markets are fair 
and orderly, and that is what they do every day. In fact, Dodd-Frank 
gives them more authority in this area than any other agency in the 
Federal Government, so I find it a little bit surprising that the 
Department of Labor, whose day-to-day job is not to oversee investment 
advisers, whose day-to-day job is not to oversee broker-dealers, and 
yet they will decide that they are going to write a rule dealing with 
fiduciary standards for those that are involved in retirement accounts. 
Well, it just seems to me that is backwards. That is upside down.
  The SEC ought to be acting in this area. That is their primary role. 
If we are going to let other agencies write rules that might be in 
conflict, might create confusion, and might be duplicative, then it 
seems to me we are going to give those individuals who are struggling 
to make a living and to make ends meet, we are going to have a 
difficult time understanding what their retirement accounts are all 
about and who is in charge and what are the rules and the standards.
  So the SEC should act first, and that is all this bill does. It says 
the SEC should act first in dealing with investor security to make sure 
that capital markets are fair and orderly and that the Department of 
Labor is prohibited from finalizing any rule in this regard.
  So I think it is a commonsense piece of legislation. I thank the 
sponsors for bringing it, and the committee for bringing it up, and so 
I urge adoption of this rule and adoption of the underlying legislation 
as well.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, even if my friends on the other side of the aisle think 
they might not like this final rule, let's at least give the Department 
of Labor, after several years of hard work, the chance to produce it. 
If at that point the majority feels that there are parts of the rule 
that they don't want or don't like or want to invalidate or are 
counterproductive, that would be the appropriate time for this kind of 
bill to intervene in those efforts before those rules are finalized.
  Mr. Speaker, I have been very satisfied with the work of the 
Department of Labor and the Secretary of Labor to engage Members of 
this body on both sides of the aisle and the financial services 
community to ensure that many of the acknowledged flaws that are in the 
draft bill are addressed in any final rule that is brought forward.
  This bill is effectively an effort to thwart the entire process 
around addressing a real problem, and that real problem is the conflict 
of interest and poor quality retirement advice that is being given to 
too many American families.
  The Secretary is not seeking to upend a business structure that 
allows access to quality financial advice for millions of middle class 
American families, and I believe that any concerns with regard to that 
will be addressed in the final rulemaking.
  With little time left before so many deadlines and cliffs that this 
body has--transportation funding expiring, the Federal budget expiring 
without a

[[Page H7205]]

potential government shutdown, the debt ceiling, and so many others--
why are we discussing a bill that is not going to become law? Again, 
you are seeking to overturn a ruling before it is made. The President 
himself would veto this bill. There will not be two-thirds of this body 
to overturn this veto.
  When we are discussing taking actions that affect actions that the 
President is taking, keep in mind that under our constitutional 
republic, if we were to override the President, it would take both 
Democrats and Republicans, and Democrats in large numbers. Now, I 
understand there may be a few handful of my Democratic colleagues 
supporting this final bill, not very many, certainly not enough to 
bring it close to the two-thirds threshold. So, again, that would 
qualify as a waste of time for this body, and a premature waste of time 
at that.
  Let's give the Department of Labor the ability and the benefit of the 
doubt to bring forward these rules, and then perhaps if they overstep 
and have a lot of flaws, then, Mr. Speaker, the Republicans might have 
more Democrats willing to join them in counteracting these rules. But 
at this point, it is entirely premature to interdict the entire 
rulemaking process to protect American retirement without even knowing 
what those rules are that we are seeking to circumvent.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I think it is a fundamental difference, again, in the way we choose 
to look at how we do our business up here. There is a constitutional 
flow to this. It is called Article I. It is our responsibility as 
elected Representatives, both from Georgia, from Colorado, from all 
over this country, it is our responsibility to look at this.
  I think one of the things that frustrates me, and I know it 
frustrates many of my constituents back home, is that it seems like 
every time--as my friend has said--that we are preempting or putting 
down all this hard work done by the agencies, well, everything that is 
pointed to so far, it is not our job as Congress to worry about the 
work product of an agency. Our job is to take care of the American 
people and make sure that their interests are best concerned. My first 
interest is the folks of the Ninth District of Georgia. My first 
interest is not, did the office or agency of an administration of any, 
Republican or Democrat, did they work real hard on it? I appreciate 
their work.
  But the problem we are coming back to here is we are facing a real 
issue. We are simply saying the SEC needs to go first. We are simply 
saying let's put these priorities in line, and let's simply say that we 
look at this. It is not the executive body's determination to make the 
law, so to speak. It is our body. So if we choose to intervene here, 
then it is our prerogative to do so, taking care of what we are doing.
  I think also to simply say--and I love this argument--that if the 
President is not going to sign and we don't have enough to override, 
then fine, let's make that argument to the American people. And if the 
administration chooses to do this and chooses not to, then let them 
tell the American people and the teachers in my district and the law 
enforcement officers in my district and people who need this advice and 
looking at the history and say: We don't care about you, let our 
bureaucracy work, let bureaucracy ring instead of freedom ring.
  If that is what the President and the administration wants to do, 
then so be it. I will stand on the side of the American people. I will 
stand on the side of the middle class. I will stand on them being able 
to take what they have and get advice so they can make it better. If 
that is the argument they want to be had, let's have it.
  Mr. Speaker, with that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I think that the remarks by my colleague on the Rules Committee are 
part of the problem here. The way that laws are passed require the 
House and the Senate to pass a bill in the same form and the President 
to sign that bill, or if the President vetoes that bill, two-thirds of 
the body to overrule it.
  And, of course, no one doubts that if this body of the House wants, 
they can continue to pass bills that the Senate won't bring up, as they 
have dozens, I would have to get a count, perhaps, hundreds of times, 
or bills that the Senate will pass but the President will veto, and the 
President vetoed, I believe, his fifth bill with the defense 
reauthorization last week.
  Certainly, if the majority chooses, if the Republicans choose, this 
body can continue to do that, or this body can work together with the 
Senate and the President to pass laws that address issues that the 
American people have brought to us to solve, and that takes compromise. 
That doesn't mean this body should say, ``It is our way or the 
highway,'' and the Senate says, ``Sorry, it is the highway,'' and the 
President says, ``Sorry, it is the highway.'' It means, roll up your 
sleeves and work together.
  If we are going to solve a problem like immigration in this country, 
our broken immigration system, and replace our broken immigration 
system with one that works, that restores border security, the rule of 
law, benefits our economy, and unites families, it will take all sides 
working together. Guess what? Last session, the Senate passed a bill. 
It was this House that didn't spend even a minute of time on the floor 
debating that bill or bringing forward something that the American 
people demand to replace our broken immigration system with one that 
works and protects our country.
  So, again, I don't doubt the ability of this body to keep passing 
bills that don't go anywhere. Perhaps, it makes some of my Republican 
colleagues feel good. They go home, and they say: Gee, we passed this 
out of the House. We passed that out of the House. The problem is the 
Senate. The problem is the President.
  But that is just an excuse for blame and more and more problems. I 
think what the American people want is not this finger pointing. They 
don't want the Senate to say: We solved immigration; it was the House's 
fault. They don't want the House to say: We defunded ObamaCare; it is 
the Senate and President's fault they didn't do it.
  They want us to work together, work together to implement the 
Affordable Care Act and address some of the problems in it, work 
together to replace our broken immigration system with one that works, 
one to work together to cut our budget deficit, one to work together to 
fund an infrastructure and transportation bill, and--this is an 
example--if there are deficiencies in the final rule, work together to 
make sure that those deficiencies are addressed so that our common goal 
the Democrats and Republicans share of making sure that Americans have 
quality, nonconflicted advice in their retirement savings is able to 
occur across the country.
  I call on Speaker Boehner and, of course, whoever succeeds him as 
Speaker, as well as the rest of the House leadership, to present truly 
bipartisan efforts to move forward on the various issues that we face 
and not yield to the easy temptation to pass single-Chamber bills in 
the House that aren't even brought up by the Senate and, if they were, 
it would be vetoed by the President. That is not how laws are made. 
That is how rhetoric is made. The American people want their problems 
addressed by this body, not just more hot wind and rhetoric that this 
bill is an example of.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I appreciate that because there are many people in America right now 
who remember just a few years ago when there was plenty of hot rhetoric 
coming from this Chamber, and it is really punishing the American 
people now. It is called ObamaCare. It is called Dodd-Frank. I guess 
the warm winds are still blowing.
  It is amazing to me that when you look at this--and I can go back in 
history--and I think the one thing that we maybe can come to an 
agreement on is when you govern and when you are in the majority, you 
pass bills that reflect your majority values. You do not reflect, in 
this case, an administration that happens to have different values. We 
are continuing to work for the

[[Page H7206]]

American people, just as my friend when he was in the majority--as he 
said, he sat in the chair as a freshman--they would have passed bills 
that, oh, by the way, probably wouldn't have made it through that 
Republican administration. Some got vetoed. And if it did get vetoed, 
you would come back and work the process of an override, and that can 
happen.

  The problem here is I believe--and this is just fundamental--I 
believe that we can work on different ideas. There are things that the 
gentleman from Colorado and I can agree on or disagree on. I think it 
goes back just basically to the problem that many of us are frustrated 
with, is that there are three branches of government that the Congress, 
the House and the Senate, whether we agree on everything or not, is not 
the point. The point is, are we making the voices heard from our 
districts and doing so in a meaningful way?
  If that means that Republicans feel one way and Democrats feel 
another way, that so be it. But I, as long as I am part of the 
majority, we are going to put our values forward, and we are going to 
say: This is what we believe in. We would like for you to come on. And 
we will find areas where we can agree.
  But I will never stand by just because the administration, as they 
did just this past week with the NDAA, put politics over our troops. As 
someone who served in Iraq, it is time to quit playing politics with 
our troops.
  If we want to get specific about what we are playing politics with 
here, then we can understand that. That is a disgrace. And what we have 
got to understand is--we are going to put stuff here--we are simply 
saying: Here is a fix that we believe; let the SEC work first.
  That is our policy statement. If they don't agree, fine. But when it 
is fighting for the people of the Ninth District of Georgia and also 
people for America and middle class and lower income folks who are just 
trying to make their retirement and get good advice, I will never back 
up or apologize for taking the time to fight for the American people. 
If that is a waste of time, I will be up here every day taking that 
time for the American people.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  This is a very interesting discussion with my colleague from Georgia. 
When you look at the work product of this body in the House of 
Representatives, this body has voted to repeal ObamaCare, the 
Affordable Care Act, over 54 times. So it is clear to the American 
people--my colleague from Georgia can tell his constituents--we voted 
to repeal ObamaCare. We did. I didn't vote for that, but the majority 
of this body did that--not once, not twice, not three times, not four 
times, not five times. I can count all the way up to over 54 times. In 
fact, many of us are losing track about how many times this body is on 
the Record opposing ObamaCare, but that is not how laws are made. That 
is part of the process. One would say once should suffice for it to 
pass this body.
  The bill also would need to pass the Senate. And as the President has 
indicated, it is unlikely that something called by many people 
ObamaCare would be repealed by a President named Barack Obama. He, of 
course, would veto any legislation that ended the Affordable Care Act, 
his signature health care policy that he passed in his first term in 
office.
  So, again, it looks at what we do with this body. When one wonders 
why the approval ratings of the House of Representatives are as low and 
continuing to plummet as they are, I think it is because rather than 
address the concerns of the American people around making health care 
work and more affordable and passing constructive laws through the 
system that address some of the shortcomings in ObamaCare, whether it 
is addressing some of the shortcomings in Dodd-Frank, rather than 
taking that path, this body instead is passing single-Chamber bills, 
like we are here today, with regard to undermining a rule that we 
haven't even seen yet because some people think it might be 
counterproductive or bad. If it is, let's have that discussion.
  But, again, as a Member of this body, I have been happy so far with 
the efforts of the Secretary of Labor to engage with the stakeholder 
groups and Members of this body to get this rule right. I honestly 
believe that the only reason this legislation was brought to the floor 
is it is hard for the Republican caucus to agree on much else. It is 
hard for them to agree on something that might be a governing effort to 
pass. So, instead, we are dealing with single-Chamber bills. On weeks 
that we could be dealing with funding transportation or infrastructure 
or cutting our deficit or going after government waste and fraud, we 
are instead repealing ObamaCare again and again and again or repealing 
a rule that we haven't even seen because people think they might not 
like it if they do.
  Look, we have a choice in this body. The Republicans in the majority 
can either sit back and bring partisan legislation to the floor each 
week and watch costs of the American people go up and watch problems go 
unsolved, or we can come to the table and start a serious discussion 
with the House and the Senate, with the President, with Members of this 
body on both sides of the aisle, about important things that actually 
move our country forward, grow our economy, promote our national 
security, reduce our deficit, including the basics of keeping our 
government open and paying our bills on time.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' and defeat the 
previous question. I urge a ``no'' vote on the rule, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I want to just finalize some time here and just really look at this 
because what is really interesting in the last few minutes is many 
times in this--and I appreciate my colleague from Colorado--this is, 
frankly, why I believe most of us came into public service, is to have 
honest debate, go back and forth. But I will have to say as I close 
here, I do want to make it back to what this bill does and what this 
rule is that you are going to be voting on. It just says: Let the SEC 
go first.
  Now, I know that is hard to understand. And if you are watching this, 
you might have a hard time understanding because my friend just said 
that we won't wait on a rule and then that we are repealing a rule. So 
I am not sure how you can repeal a rule that you have not waited on, 
and if the rule is not there, you are repealing. No, we are simply 
saying: Let the SEC go first. So you can't repeal something that your 
own statement said you are waiting on.
  And, also, by the way, a Dear Colleague letter that says that we know 
from many, many of my Democrat friends across the aisle are sending 
around saying: DOL, we have got a lot of concerns about this; we want 
to make sure you do it right. I think this is a good way to do it, and 
it is called being part of a bipartisan solution here on the floor, and 
let's put it back right and let it go that way instead of sending a 
letter to DOL and letting them make sure they get it right because they 
acknowledge that there are real concerns about the workability of this 
rule in progress, and this is right now being circulated.
  I think I just want to say I support this bill, H.R. 1090, because I 
believe that men and women should have the ability to choose their type 
of financial professional who best meets their investment needs. This 
isn't about protecting investors. It is about the administration once 
again telling families that they know what is best for them. They have 
told families that they know better when it comes to health care. They 
have told families they know better when it comes to education. They 
have told families they know better when it comes how and where to 
spend their money, and the results have been devastating.

  H.R. 1090 isn't going to undo all the devastating impacts of this 
one-size-fits-all regulatory approach, but it will prevent from taking 
away the ability of families to plan their financial future. This bill 
passed with bipartisan support last Congress, and on behalf of my 
constituents, I deeply hope it does so again.
  Again, it is about who you fight for. It is a consistency. I will 
consistently stand here and say what is best for those hard-working, 
middle class,

[[Page H7207]]

lower income class, and anybody else who earns as much as they want to 
to have the access to get the financial planning they need in the way 
that is best for them without the interference of a bureaucratic 
organization that has taken so long and already shows results from 
other places that are devastating. We are not going to do that. We are 
going to put this forward and let's see who we are really standing with 
and who we are really standing for.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Polis is as follows:

      An Amendment to H. Res. 491 Offered by Mr. Polis of Colorado

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
     sections:
       Sec. 2. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 
     932) to allow Americans to earn paid sick time so that they 
     can address their own health needs and the health needs of 
     their families. The first reading of the bill shall be 
     dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of 
     the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the 
     bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided among and 
     controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
     Committee on Education and the Workforce, the chair and 
     ranking minority member of the Committee on House 
     Administration, and the chair and ranking minority member of 
     the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. After 
     general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment 
     under the five-minute rule. All points of order against 
     provisions in the bill are waived. At the conclusion of 
     consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall 
     rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as 
     may have been adopted. The previous question shall be 
     considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to 
     final passage without intervening motion except one motion to 
     recommit with or without instructions. If the Committee of 
     the Whole rises and reports that it has come to no resolution 
     on the bill, then on the next legislative day the House 
     shall, immediately after the third daily order of business 
     under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the 
     Whole for further consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 3. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 932.
                                  ____


        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

       This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous 
     question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. 
     A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote 
     against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow 
     the Democratic minority to offer an alternative plan. It is a 
     vote about what the House should be debating.
       Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of 
     Representatives (VI, 308-311), describes the vote on the 
     previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or 
     control the consideration of the subject before the House 
     being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous 
     question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the 
     subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling 
     of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the 
     House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes 
     the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to 
     offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the 
     majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated 
     the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to 
     a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to 
     recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: 
     ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman 
     from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to 
     yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first 
     recognition.''
       The Republican majority may say ``the vote on the previous 
     question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an 
     immediate vote on adopting the resolution . . . [and] has no 
     substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' 
     But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the 
     Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in 
     the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, 
     page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous 
     question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally 
     not possible to amend the rule because the majority Member 
     controlling the time will not yield for the purpose of 
     offering an amendment, the same result may be achieved by 
     voting down the previous question on the rule. . . . When the 
     motion for the previous question is defeated, control of the 
     time passes to the Member who led the opposition to ordering 
     the previous question. That Member, because he then controls 
     the time, may offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for 
     the purpose of amendment.''
       In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of 
     Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special 
     Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on 
     such a rule [a special rule reported from the Committee on 
     Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further 
     debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: 
     ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a 
     resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control 
     shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous 
     question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who 
     controls the time for debate thereon.''
       Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does 
     have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only 
     available tools for those who oppose the Republican 
     majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the 
     opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.

                              {time}  1330

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Carter of Georgia). The question is on 
ordering the previous question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

                          ____________________