Press Releases

McHenry to SEC Chair Gensler: While Your Time in This Role May be Temporary, the Repercussions of Your Actions May be Permanent for the Agency

Washington, September 27, 2023 -

Today, the House Financial Services Committee, led by Chairman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), is holding a hearing to conduct oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with testimony from Chairman Gary Gensler. Republicans will hold Chair Gensler accountable for his reckless approach to rulemaking, lack of a capital formation agenda, crusade against the digital asset ecosystem, and unresponsiveness to Congressional oversight.


Prior to today’s hearing, all Committee Republicans sent a letter to Chair Gensler demanding the SEC halt the finalization or implementation of interrelated rulemakings until their cumulative impacts are evaluated, and the public and market participants are given sufficient time to respond and comply with those new regulations.


Watch Chairman McHenry’s opening remarks here.


Read Chairman McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:


“Welcome back, Chairman Gensler.


“Last time you were before this Committee, I voiced my concerns regarding your reckless approach to rulemaking, lack of a capital formation agenda, crusade against the digital asset ecosystem, and unresponsiveness to Congress.


“These are the same issues I want to discuss with you today.


“This means that in the last five months you have done nothing to remedy the legitimate, and often bipartisan, concerns expressed by this committee.


“That is disgraceful.


“So, let’s run through them again, but let me be clear, Chairman Gensler, our patience is wearing thin.


“First, the SEC’s current approach to rulemaking jeopardizes the integrity of our financial markets and puts investors at risk.


“There’s a critical need for comprehensive economic analysis of the rules you have proposed and their interaction with one another.


“Under your leadership, the Commission has failed to adequately assess their interplay and cumulative impact. That’s shoddy work and does not adhere to the SEC’s statutory mandate.


“While the SEC has engaged in a wide-ranging regulatory agenda, you seem to have overlooked the importance of public input—resulting in bipartisan and bicameral concerns.


“Members on both sides of the aisle have raised valid concerns regarding MiFID relief, swing pricing and hard close, as well as your equity market structure overhaul.


“The SEC has taken no action to address these concerns.


“Second, you continue to fail to prioritize capital formation. Among your expansive rulemaking agenda, there is not a single initiative aimed at improving access to capital or enhancing market competitiveness.


“Third, your efforts to choke off the digital asset ecosystem, which has created real harm for consumers and our markets.


“You said the law is clear, but your actions have created more confusion and lasting damage.


“Chair Gensler, you have also said your goal is consumer protection. Yet, your actions have pushed legitimate digital asset activities out of regulated financial institutions where consumers are best protected.


“On one hand, we have seen bipartisan votes in Congress to provide clear rules of the road and real consumer protection. On the other, we’ve seen your ad hoc, regulation by enforcement approach to digital assets on a losing streak in the courts.


“You refuse to be transparent with Congress regarding your interactions with FTX and Sam-Bankman Fried.


“Finally, your lack of responsiveness to this Committee’s legitimate oversight continues to be unacceptable. In February, this Committee made multiple requests for documents to the SEC.


“Yet, seven months later, the Committee has not received a single non-public document that was not part of a FOIA production.


“As I said, our patience is wearing thin.


“The SEC is not above the law nor is it unique. Other financial regulators have routinely complied with congressional oversight.


“So let me be clear, I do not want to be the first Chairman of the Financial Services Committee to issue a subpoena to the SEC.


“And you should not want to be the first SEC Chair to receive a congressional subpoena.


“Either we find a path forward where the SEC recognizes Congress as a co-equal branch of government and is responsive to our oversight duties, or my only option is to issue a subpoena.


“It’s time for you to consider the lasting consequences your actions have on the SEC’s reputation.


“While your time in this role may be temporary, the repercussions of your actions may be permanent for the agency.”



Print version of this document