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Providing for Consideration of Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act and Retail Investor Protection Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding time to speak on an important issue that the Retail Investor Protection Act addresses.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans provide good jobs and secure retirements in my home State, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and across the Nation. In fact, ESOPs had fewer layoffs during the recession than other businesses.

I have been joined by two dozen colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, on a bill to prevent the Department of Labor from imposing the fiduciary standard on appraisers of ESOP stock.

IRS law today requires that ESOPs get an independent appraisal in order to determine the value of the stock. On the other hand, fiduciaries are, by definition, not independent. Any rule that would define ESOP appraisers as fiduciaries would create a conflict with the IRS regulations; and by creating conflicting duties for appraisers, any Department of Labor rules in this area would substantially increase the cost of ESOPs and, in fact, could regulate them out of existence.

DOL's proposal would add costs to all parties and encourage needless litigation time and again. DOL has failed to sufficiently document the problems with ESOPs that they claim they are trying to remedy.

This is simply another example of this administration overreaching and creating unnecessary burdens on business leaders for providing a great service to their employees.

I am pleased to stand in support of the rule and the underlying bill today because, if enacted, this bill will help protect ESOPs in the near term. By barring DOL from finalizing a rule on fiduciaries until after the SEC has acted, this bill will provide some temporary protection for ESOPs and their appraisers.

We must continue to defend business leaders and their employees from professional regulators whose ill-considered and counterproductive proposals are making it more difficult for hardworking Americans to achieve the American Dream.

And we have been working with both sides of the aisle; and this party, the Republican Party, on this side of the aisle wants to make sure Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. This bill does that; and, therefore, I support the rule and the underlying bill.

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