Hensarling Bill Should Be ‘Taken Seriously’: SEC Official

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By Michael Greene

Nov. 18 — House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) legislation to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act should be “taken seriously,” a senior Securities and Exchange Commission official said Nov. 18.

Keith Higgins, director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, declined to make any predictions as to which elements of the Financial Choice Act (FCA) will be taken up by a new Congress or the SEC after Chairman Mary Jo White leaves.

“Who knows what survives, what stays, what changes, but I thought it might be an interesting window into what the future might hold,” Higgins said at an American Bar Association event in Washington.

Pay Ratio, Conflict Minerals Reporting

The Financial Services Committee approved the FCA in September by a 30-26 vote. The bill would repeal, among other key Dodd-Frank measures, the requirement for companies to disclose the ratio of their chief executive officer and median employee pay, and their use of conflict minerals and resource extraction payments.

Hensarling said Nov. 16 that he is willing to modify the bill before reintroducing it to Congress early in 2017.

Higgins said that if the bill is enacted, it’s not entirely clear how the Dodd-Frank repeals will be effected. In some areas, the SEC has authority on its own to undo its rulemaking, he said (see related story in this issue).

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Greene in Washington at mGreene@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at ywilczek@bna.com; Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

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