Press Releases

Wagner Delivers Remarks at Hearing to Examine SEC Overreach and the Need for Reform

Washington, March 20, 2024 -

Today, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, led by Chairman Ann Wagner (MO-02), is holding a hearing entitled, “SEC Overreach: Examining the Need for Reform.”
Watch Chairman Wagner’s opening remarks here.
Read Chairman Wagner’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery.

“Thank you for joining today’s hearing where we will address clear examples of regulatory overreach at the Securities and Exchange Commission (or ‘SEC’). 

“The SEC’s aggressive and burdensome regulatory approach reveals the urgent need for sensible reforms at an agency responsible for protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation. 

“Chair Gensler’s frenetic, partisan rulemaking agenda at the SEC has threatened the health of U.S. capital markets and highlights the need for targeted institutional reform.  

“Today’s hearing will explore the negative consequences of rulemaking based on theoretical assumptions rather than real-world impacts, and the alarming absence of stakeholder input and meaningful cost benefit analysis during the rulemaking process.  

“None of these topics covered today should come as a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the SEC under Chair Gensler. 

“Likewise, each of our proposed reforms is targeted and practical. They will improve the 90-year-old agency, not overhaul it.  

“They will not ‘remove investor protections,’ kneecap the regulatory process, or politicize an ‘independent’ federal agency, despite what Democrats may claim.

“The problems and solutions highlighted today are clear to any observer of the SEC, with countless examples proving that the SEC under Chair Gensler would rather pursue partisan policy objectives than adhere to its statutory mission. 

“Democrats might argue that Chair Gensler has acted in the interest of investors.

“However, investors and companies in both the public and private markets know otherwise and have been raising the alarm through both public comment and the courts.

“For example, if Chair Gensler were truly concerned with the interests of investors, wouldn’t he provide more than 30 days for market participants to review and comment on new rules? 

“Wouldn’t he re-propose new rules that have been substantially changed before they are finalized, or encourage a thoughtful cost-benefit analysis that clearly shows how the benefits outweigh the costs of a new rule?

“Moreover, if Chair Gensler truly believed our securities markets were ‘the envy of the world,’ as he’s often claimed, you’d expect that he’d propose new rules only when there is an unambiguous, data-driven need for such new rules. 

“You’d also expect that he’d provide a reasonable, staggered timeline for companies to implement and comply with his massive set of new regulatory requirements.

“Instead, since taking office in 2021, Chair Gensler has flooded the marketplace with roughly 60 new proposals and more than 30 final rules. 

“Many of these proposed and final rules include sweeping new changes that were advanced without the requisite statutory authority; without a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis; or without satisfying the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The best example is the Climate Disclosure Rule, which was finalized earlier this month. As Members of this Committee have made clear: the SEC is not an environmental regulator, nor was it given clear authority to finalize climate related regulations that will only burden American businesses with serious costs. The Full Committee on Financial Services will explore that rule in detail on April 10.

“In the meantime, today, we will hear why our proposed slate of common-sense reforms is necessary to prevent an activist agency from accomplishing political objectives—sometimes in violation of the law. 

“This should not be a partisan issue. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle should be concerned any time an agency oversteps its authority and should welcome the sorely needed reforms we will be examining today that improve the rulemaking process at the SEC.   

“I would like to thank our witnesses for their testimony, and I look forward to our discussion.”


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