Decoding D.C.

AALU’s weekly Government Affairs product covering essential policy and politics for the advisor.


Ambassadors in Action: Jeff Peterson with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) & Gabe Schulman with Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)

This past Monday, AALU Ambassador Jeff Peterson hosted Rep. Mike Thompson at the Northwestern Mutual Offices in San Francisco. Rep. Thompson, who represents Northern California’s 5th district which covers Napa Valley, has long been a champion of financial and retirement security issues facing our industry and consumers. The conversation was a productive one, with Jeff…

First Democratic Debates: Aftermath by the Numbers

Below are national polling averages from both before and after the debates. Former Vice President Joe Biden took the biggest dip, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) more than doubled her share of support. While Biden remains the overall leader, Harris’s surge in polling shows that her debate performance resonated heavily with voters – at least…

Efforts To Pass SECURE Act Before August Recess Face Hurdles In Senate

The most expedient way to pass the SECURE Act before August is through unanimous consent—the procedure by which a bill can be passed without the usual debate and amendment procedures because all senators agree. However, it only takes one senator to block this route, and three senators currently have objections. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants…

Marathon Mark-up to Extend Popular Tax Breaks Paid for with Estate Taxes

To pay for the cost of the tax extender bill, Democrats proposed rolling back the temporarily doubled estate and gift tax exemptions enacted in the TCJA—the doubled exemptions would sunset in 2022 instead of 2025. As we stressed during the passage of the TCJA, Democrats would likely look at the estate tax as a revenue…

New Jersey and Massachusetts Fiduciary Proposals

New Jersey proposed a rule in April that would apply a fiduciary duty to all brokers and advisors registered with the NJ Bureau of Securities – including advice around the opening of or transfer of assets to any type of account. While the proposal applies to the sale of securities, it does not apply to…

How to Hug a Porcupine: Relationship Building with Elected Officials

Top four takeaways from the Congressional Management Foundation’s webinar on building relationships with lawmakers: The form of advocacy that most influences Members of Congress is in-person meetings with constituents – especially constituents who are representing a larger group or organization. In CMF’s research and surveys, these meetings ranked significantly higher than meetings with lobbyists. The…

Hug a Porcupine? | Reps. Lieu and Kildee | Fiduciary Update | Estate Tax Pay For

June 28, 2019 Ambassadors in Action: Paul Karlitz with Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rob Hunt with Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI) In California, Paul Karlitz and Congressman Ted Lieu met for coffee to discuss financial security, retirement policy, and life insurance. Paul thanked the congressman for his support of the SECURE Act and offered to…

Ambassadors in Action: Russell Vandevelde and Rep. Terri Sewell

At the luncheon, the conversation stretched from the recently passed SECURE Act, the invaluable role that companies can have in helping their employees save for retirement, and how the business uses of life insurance can help companies recruit and retain key employees in cities like Birmingham. The Congresswoman asked questions about tax reform and its…

SEC to Vote / Dem Debate Guide / AALU Action with Schweikert and Schneider / Retirement Bill on the Move

Topics: Advisor standard of conduct, Congress, Regulation, Retirement security, SEC

May 31, 2019 SEC Expected to Finalize Standard of Conduct Rule on June 5 The SEC will hold an open hearing on June 5th, where the Commission is expected to vote to finalize their standard of conduct proposal for broker-dealers and advisors. The SEC initially proposed the rule in April of 2018, and it consists…