Nov. 20 — 60 days before the end of histerm — the Biden administration “typically would have to use notice and comment rulemaking to suspend or modifythat regulation,” which is a time-consuming process, Campbell said.
If Trump puts a rule on the books
less than 60 days before leaving office,
President Biden could squash it “basi-
cally with a stroke of a pen.”
The Trump fiduciary rule remains up
in the air.
“We don’t know what policy deci-
sions they’re going to make because
they still haven’t finished writing it,”
Campbell said, but with no “second
term of the Trump administration,
it’s quite likely that the DOL fiducia-
ry rule, as the Trump administration
envisions, is a dead letter.”
As it stands now, Labor “seems to
be further behind in finalizing that
[fiduciary] rule,” as opposed to its
controversial rule on environmen-
tal, social and governance focused
investments in 401(k) plans, which
became final in late October.
That doesn’t mean the fiduciary ruleissue is dead. In fact, with “a Bidenadministration, we think it’s very likelythat they will pursue, again, a fiduciaryregulation which likely would be a combination of actually changing the 1975
regulation in material ways — bearingin mind the objections of the 5th Circuit[Court of Appeals], which struck downthe Obama-era” fiduciary rule.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., aswell as former Federal Reserve BoardChair Janet Yellen have been floated aspotential candidates for Treasury secretary in a Biden administration.
But Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy
IMPORTANT ISSUES IN DECEMBER
strategist for AGF Investments, said
during a mid-November virtual Schwab
Impact event that “They don’t want to
give up a seat in Massachusetts; I think
there would be concern that [Senate
Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell
might not go along with [Warren]; he
might be able to block her nomination.”
Federal Reserve Governor Lael
Brainard is the “odds-on pick” for
Treasury secretary, Valliere said.
Two “very important issues” loom inDecember, according to Valliere, avoiding a government shutdown on Dec. 12
and officially confirming Biden’s election victory on Dec. 14.
A “continuing resolution” keeping the
government funded will expire at mid-
night on Dec. 11. “Could there be a shut-
down on Dec. 12?” Valliere posited in
his mid-November email briefing. “Most
sources we’ve talked with believe nei-
ther Democrats nor Republicans want
that to happen, but no one is quite sure
where Donald Trump stands.”
The most likely scenario is to pass still
another continuing resolution, lasting
until a few days before Christmas, or per-
haps lasting well into 2021, Valliere said.
The certification of the next president “will begin to unfold soon,” Vallierecontinued, with states ratifying theirpresidential election winners in thecoming weeks; the law states that alldisputes must be resolved by Dec. 8.
Then the Electoral College will vote onDec. 14 — but could some “faithless electors” complicate the process?
Biden is in line “for at least 290 electoralvotes — seems to have a large cushion; 270
are required to win. Thus it’s likely that he
will officially be declared ‘President-elect’
on Dec. 14, although he unofficially has that
label now, even on Fox News,” Valliere said.
The next step, according to Valliere,would be counting the electoral votesin Congress on Jan. 6, followed by theinauguration at noon on Jan. 20.
“The key issue, of course, is whetherany court appeals could delay this process, giving Trump a glimmer of hope;
thus far it seems highly unlikely that hecan prevail. (Whether he concedes isanother issue entirely.)” Valliere stated.
Concluded Valliere: “This is 2020, theyear from hell, as Covid- 19 cases explodethroughout the country, so anything could happen. We maynot get a budget deal by Dec.
12, but a final Electoral Collegeoutcome on Dec. 14 is cominginto focus.”
ALL EYES ON THE SENATE
Michael Townsend, vice presi-
dent of legislative and regu-
latory affairs at Schwab, said
during the virtual session that
“investors need to pay atten-
tion to the battle for control of
the Senate. That’s really going to deter-
mine what the achievable policy agenda
could be for a Joe Biden presidency; if
Republicans have control of the Senate,
then it’s going to be very difficult for
him to get his policy initiatives through.”
That means “all eyes on Georgia,” where
there are two runoff elections for Senate
coming up in early January, Townsend
said. “Even though we’re through [with]
Election Day, we’ve got about eight more
weeks before we’re really going to know
the lay of the land in Washington.”
The Senate, Valliere agreed, “is really
important. … For Biden to get along with
[Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell,
they’re going to have to move to the
center. They’ve known each other for
decades; they both pride themselves on
their ability to cut deals. I think we will
get some deals cut.”
Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell canbe reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reg BI was one of 65 final
rules that SEC Chairman
Jay Clayton advanced to date
from the commission’s policy
divisions and offices. Clayton
announced in mid-November
that he’d be stepping down
from the agency by year-end.