By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON Dec 13 The top Republican on the
U.S. House Financial Services Committee criticized Securities
and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White on Tuesday, after
she told lawmakers she intends to try to complete new rules
before Donald Trump becomes president.
"Such midnight rulemaking is neither conducive to sound
policy nor consistent with the principles of democratic
accountability," Chairman Jeb Hensarling said in a statement.
"As the clock runs down on the Obama administration, Chair
White and all other regulators who may be tempted to hastily
impose another pile of complicated regulations on our economy
should know that Congress will scrutinize their actions and - if
appropriate - overturn them."
In a letter sent to senior lawmakers on the Senate Banking
Committee on Monday, White said she was declining requests by
Republicans to stop working on rules until President-elect Trump
takes office because the SEC is an independent agency that is
required to perform its duties "without fear or favor."
In her letter, White cited a number of rules that she said
were ready for a vote, including a controversial measure that
would limit how mutual funds and exchange-traded funds use
derivatives. The rules she cited have all been on the SEC's
agenda for months.
Her desire to adopt final regulations, however, could be
foiled by the SEC's quorum rules. Those rules require a quorum
of commissioners to hold an open meeting - something that SEC
Republican Commissioner Mike Piwowar could potentially thwart by
declining to show up.
Even if White asked each commissioner to cast a vote on the
rule behind closed doors, he could decline to participate.
Piwowar did not immediately respond to a request for comment
about whether he would support adopting at least some of the
rules on White's list.
In October, however, he said he did not believe the SEC
would approve the controversial rule to restrict fund managers'
use of derivatives.
The asset management industry has been critical of the SEC's
proposal, amid fears it could curtail their ability to manage
(Disclosure: Two units of Thomson Reuters Corp, the
parent company of Reuters, raised similar concerns about the
rule in an April 8 letter to the SEC that is available on the
agency's website, saying it could harm their foreign currency
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Linda Stern and Lisa