Congress “Fixes” SEC Secrecy

Following last week’s hearing in the House Financial Services Committee and action by the Senate Judiciary Committee on the broad and unnecessary Freedom of Information Act exemption for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Congress moved quickly to approve legislation that will fix the controversial provisions.

Despite the SEC’s assurances that the exemptions are needed and will be applied narrowly, the legislative efforts to eliminate the language from the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act have garnered surprisingly strong bi-partisan support. On Sept. 21, just four days after the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislative fix, S.3717, the full Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill. Yesterday, the House followed suit and passed the legislation on a voice vote.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who introduced S. 3717, said of the bill’s passage, “This new law will ensure that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) remains an effective tool to provide public access to information about the stability of our financial markets.”

S. 3717 now travels to the White House where, hopefully, President Obama will quickly sign it and complete the process.

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