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House Committee Debates SEC Reform

House Committee Debates SEC Reform

Julia Smith

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SEC, Gensler, House Committee on Financial Services

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler is facing increased scrutiny over his handling of the federal agency following a Monday hearing held by the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (HCFS). The committee delved into potential SEC reform, exploring concerns about the agency’s recent actions.

Representative French Hill Lambasts Gensler’s Leadership, Calls for SEC Reform

According to the committee’s memorandum, Gensler’s direction has sparked “significant concerns” amongst its members, citing the commission’s “rapid push to propose and finalize numerous new rules” and insufficient comment periods that would otherwise allow stakeholders to provide impactful feedback on proposed rules in connection with the Administrative Procedures Act.

HCFS Vice Chairman Representative French Hill (R-LA) chastised the commission’s regulation-by-enforcement approach, emphasizing its negative financial implications for the American people and the urgent need for SEC reform.

“As a result of that gross abuse of power, the commission is required to pay the legal fees – which means that our constituents’ tax dollars are now being used to pay for the SEC’s overreach and failure,” Hill stated.

“Whether it’s refusing to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act or not, or providing clear rules of the road for the digital asset ecosystem, it’s clear that the SEC under Gary Gensler blatantly and repeatedly oversteps its statutory authority,” He added.

Hill’s statement underscores the urgent need for SEC reform to address these issues and ensure the agency operates within its legal boundaries.

Meanwhile, David Burton, a Senior Fellow in Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation, criticized the federal agency’s focus on social justice initiatives, including climate disclosures and diversity, equity and inclusion over “serious issues” related to its “core mission.”

“The SEC is managed exceedingly poorly and has been for quite some time,” said Burton. “Its organizational structure is unwieldy and inconsistent with sound management practices. It is among the most management-heavy and bureaucratic agencies in government.

Representative Waters Plays Devil’s Advocate

HCFS Ranking Member Maxine Waters pushed back against the committee’s concerns, arguing for the importance of SEC reform to provide increased transparency in unregulated private securities markets. She also advocated for more comprehensive climate disclosures.

“For the record, our SEC is our cop on the block, protecting investors,” Waters stated.

Similarly, Alexandra Thronton, the Senior Director for Financial Regulation for Inclusive Economy at the Center for American Progress, claimed that “opponents of the SEC” are “misusing reasonable administrative process protections and turning them into years-long gauntlets for agency actions.”

“Unfortunately, a handful of relatively recent court decisions have made this process far more burdensome on the agency and thrust important rules into jeopardy,” Thornton continued, alleging these outside pressures were “burdening” the federal agency from adequately responding to concerns.

The SEC’s Regulatory Approach Backfires

Monday’s House Committee of Financial Services hearing comes amidst a wave of criticism for Gensler’s leadership of the SEC, particularly following Judge Robert Shelby’s condemnation of the commission’s handling of the botched case against Debt Box, calling it a “gross abuse of power.”

Shelby has since proceeded to dismiss the SEC’s litigation against the cryptocurrency firm without prejudice.

Cryptonews.com has reached out to the SEC for comment.

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