Obama struggles with Wall Street to woo Democrats over broker rules

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following their meeting at the White House in WashingtonBy Sarah N. Lynch and Suzanne Barlyn WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is battling Wall Street to win the support of dozens of Democrat lawmakers over rules that could rein in brokers who handle trillions of dollars in retirement accounts. President Barack Obama on Monday called on the Department of Labor to write new rules for brokers that seek to reduce conflicts of interest and “hidden fees” the White House says cost Americans $17 billion from their retirement plans every year. He portrayed the reform as a central tenet of middle-class economics that would help Americans “retire with dignity.” What Obama didn’t mention is that more than 100 current and former Democrats in the U.S. House of Representative and Senate have raised concerns in the past about attempts to draft such rules, either through comment letters or by voting for legislation that would delay such a reform.

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