Currently, the Democrats control the legislative and executive branches of government meaning they should be able to run wild with their legislative agenda. The reality is a bit different though, due to close margins in both the House and Senate and the fact that moderates remain (just 2 in the Senate) and deals must be cut – either with their own team or the other side. The Administration obviously controls the federal bureaucracy too, including financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – an agency that must provide reports to Congress on a periodic basis.
A tweet by Eleanor Terrett today, a reporter at Fox Business, indicates the SEC is preparing for the possibility that the Republicans will regain the House – meaning more moderate legislation but also – Republican oversight of agencies like the SEC.
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) September 16, 2022
Terret’s tweet claims:
“[The SEC] is staffing up in anticipation of a “heavy” amount of Congressional oversight if GOP takes the House in the midterms. Specifically looking for general attorneys to join its Oversight and Investigations Group which assists on executing internal investigations.”
Representative Tom Emmer, a Republican in leadership who has been vocally pro-innovation in regards to crypto and Fintech (and no fan of current SEC Chair Gary Gensler), bluntly shared his opinion on the SEC’s move to buttress its defenses if the House flips. Emmer responded to the tweet thread inquiring if the Chair was scared of what could be a few months from now.
There has been a good amount of frustration on Capitol Hill regarding Gensler’s regulatory agenda, mainly from Republicans but more quietly among some Democrats. Chatter is that the SEC is the most politicized it has been in decades and this is frustrating elected officials that aim to pursue more common sense objectives.
While expectations for a “Red Wave” continue, they have dimmed a bit in recent weeks as Democrats have been able to regain some of the lost love from the populace – mainly from Independents. Still, a week in politics is a lifetime for the electorate, and things can change quickly, but the SEC appears to be playing it safe and preparing for House Committees that will be less friendly.