Media Buzz: SEC Flirts With Politically-Motivated Disclosure Rule
May 16, 2013
At today's oversight hearing with SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, Chairman Hensarling said the IRS scandal causes Americans to wonder “just how pervasive the IRS’s tactics of harassment” are within the administration and whether a proposal before the SEC raises similar concerns that political opponents of the administration could be targeted. Click here for his full opening statement.
Here's what they're saying;
Bloomberg Businessweek: SEC’s White Rebuffs Call to Forswear Political Spending Rule
Representative Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who leads the Financial Services Committee, sought to tie the issue to the furor surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s selective screening of nonprofit groups with ties to the Tea Party movement, which caused the resignation yesterday of the IRS’s acting commissioner.
“This rulemaking is well-known to be part of a partisan political agenda of labor union bosses, George Soros and assorted leftist groups who conveniently would not have to abide by the rule,” Hensarling said.
The SEC has three statutory purposes -- protecting investors; maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation, Hensarling said.
“That is why it is most disturbing to many of us to realize that while the SEC has missed numerous mandatory rulemaking deadlines, it is devoting time and resources to a discretionary rulemaking and more specifically, a highly controversial discretionary rule,” he said.
Market Watch: Republicans alarmed over political spending plan
Republican lawmakers on Thursday cited the recent Internal Revenue Service scandal as they urged the chief of the nation’s securities watchdog not to require publicly-traded corporations disclose how all their money is spent on politics.
“It is most disturbing to many of us to realize that … [the Securities and Exchange Commission] is devoting time and resources to a discretionary rulemaking and more specifically, a highly controversial discretionary rule to force public companies to report all perceived facets of political involvement,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing on the agency’s budget.
The Hill: Hensarling links IRS scandal to corporate disclosure proposal at SEC
Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling said the IRS’ apparent targeting of conservative groups raises questions about how pervasive “tactics of harassment” have become within the Obama administration, saying the scandal is “right out of the Watergate playbook.”
The Texas Republican, during a budget hearing, warned new SEC chairman Mary Jo White that her agency could similarly be viewed as acting in a partisan manner if it pursues a rule requiring public firms to report their political spending to shareholders.
Hensarling said the proposal “is well known to be part of a partisan political agenda of labor union bosses.”
WSJ: In Wake of IRS Scandal, a Push to Nix Disclosure of Corporate Political Cash
The burgeoning IRS scandal also provided lawmakers with ammunition to question the agency's independence and agenda-setting. Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) said it is "disturbing" that the SEC might propose a "discretionary" measure like political-spending disclosures when it has missed deadlines for other mandatory rules and asked Ms. White if the White House's Office of Management and Budget had contacted the agency about its rule-setting agenda.