Barney Frank's final campaign to get the SEC more funding is stalling out, but the reasons his Republican counterparts are giving reveal some interesting shifts going on in Congress.
"Nonmandatory" efforts to impose fiduciary duty on brokerage reps are seen as a waste of time and money, especially given the lack of any kind of cost/benefit analysis.
However, members of the House Financial Services Committee would like to see the SEC divert those resources to more frequent RIA examinations.
That's actually potentially good news for advisors who've been left in suspense for over a year on the question of whether the SEC will maintain supervision of RIAs at all.
The House has been driving efforts to push RIAs to FINRA or some new self-regulatory organization.
If they're now willing to preserve the regulatory status quo and even make more resources available for RIA oversight, it's a radically different argument.
And if their problem with fiduciary brokers is that they don't like change for its own sake, then surely forcing the entire retail advisory industry to switch regulators solely for budget purposes qualifies as "change for its own sake."
In any event, Barney Frank won't be around next year for the debates. This is his last term.