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Darrel Issa Introduces Legislation to Restore FOIA at the SEC

Posted by Larry Doyle on September 18, 2010 12:14 PM |

LD’s edit: Thank you to a Sense on Cents reader, Transparency, for informing us that Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill To Repeal SEC FOIA Exemptions.

Thanks to a loyal reader of Sense on Cents for sharing this press release put forth earlier this week. Not that the Republican Party does not have a LOT to answer for in terms of the final Financial Regulatory Reform, but at least on this front, I commend Darrell Issa (R-CA) for introducing this legislation.

Issa Introduces the SEC Freedom of Information Restoration Act

President Obama at Signing of Financial Reform Bill:  “It demands accountability and responsibility from everyone…It demands accountability and responsibility from everyone…And we all win when folks are rewarded based on how well they perform, not how well they evade accountability.”

WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today introduced H.R. 5924, the “SEC Freedom of Information Restoration Act” which will repeal section 9291 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that allows the SEC to not “disclose records or information” that are typically subjects of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“Note this as just the latest example of Congress passing and the President signing legislation into law without fully understanding what’s in it,” Issa said.  “Either that or the Administration knowingly orchestrated the inclusion of a provision that shields the SEC from the transparency and accountability this reform bill was supposed to represent.  Regardless of intent, both Democrats and Republicans alike should agree that we cannot allow this regulatory body that failed to catch Allen Stanford’s fraud and Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme to operate in secrecy.  Hopefully, we can partner together and swiftly pass legislation I am introducing today to repeal Section 9291 and ensure that the SEC will be held to the highest possible standard of accountability and transparency.”

The SEC Freedom of Information Restoration Act was co-sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL) as well as by Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), John Duncan (R-TN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), John Mica (R-FL), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Bill Shuster (R-PA).

The fact that the Financial Regulatory Reform legislation as drafted AND passed includes increased FOIA exemptions for the SEC begs the following questions:
1. How the hell did these exemptions get in there?
2. Who put them there?

Sense on Cents would love to know the answers to these questions. In the process, we would learn a LOT about the Wall Street-Washington incestuous relationship!

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Transparency
    • Texas

      Wow. With a unanimous vote, fairly obvious that the committee was not buying what Mary Schapiro was selling.

      Maybe, just maybe, the committee hears what Americans are saying.

      Will be interesting to see how full Senate votes.

  • Tea Party

    Although Frank is chairing the House Financial Services Committee, he and Dodd owe America answers as to how these SEC FOIA exemptions got into the legislation in the first place.

    What are the chances that we learn anything from them? Do they have things to hide? You think??

  • phil trupp

    It isn’t surprising to find so many co-sponsors of the FOIA restoration proposal; Rep. Issa is a legislative worker bee. HR 5924 will be passed, as it should be; it is a proposition no politician can afford to refuse.






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