House Financial Services Committee Schedules Oversight Hearing of SEC

The House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10 AM on Tuesday, April 18th. The full Committee hearing will see SEC Chair Gary Gensler testify in front of the Committee, with the Republican majority expected to ask some difficult questions about Commission leadership and its overall direction.

Last October, the Office of the Inspector General issued a critical report on the management of the SEC that pointed to the “aggressive agenda” set by leadership for rules that “significantly impact external stakeholders” with limited time and resources to complete necessary research and analysis. During the first months eight months of 2022, the SEC proposed 26 new rules, which was more than double the preceding year and more than proposed in each of the last five years.

At the same time, the report questioned the high attrition rate of Commission staff – especially at the most senior levels which undermine the experience needed to manage the complex operations as well as overall continuity.

You can expect Gensler to get hammered on other topics, such as the lack of clear-cut rules on digital assets as well as proposed rules on climate disclosure that are far beyond the Commission’s mandate. Additionally, the drive to add climate disclosure will add millions or billions of dollars in costs for public firms and will spill over into private firms as it creates a private greenwashing industry to provide mandated data. The ESG push on climate impact led one SEC Commissioner to criticize the move as turning the SEC into the Securities and Environment Commission.

The hearing will be live-streamed on the Committee’s website.

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