May 17, 2013(Key vote)
Title: SEC Regulatory Accountability Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to assess the costs and benefits of any proposed regulations.
Requires the Chief Economist of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to assess the costs and benefits of any proposed regulation and to only adopt the proposed regulation after making a “reasoned” determination that the benefits of the regulation justify the costs (Sec. 2).
Requires the SEC to consider the effect of the regulation on investor choice, small businesses, and market liquidity in the securities markets when assessing the costs and benefits of a proposed regulation (Sec. 2).
Requires the SEC to complete the following before issuing a regulation (Sec. 2):
Identify the nature, source, and significance of the problem that the proposed regulation is designed to address in order to assess whether the new regulation is necessary;
Identify alternatives to the proposed regulation along with an explanation of why the proposed regulation is more effective than the alternatives; and
Ensure that any proposed regulation is “accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand.”
Requires the SEC to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating, when deciding whether and how to regulate, and to select the approach that “maximizes” net benefits (Sec. 2).
Requires the SEC to evaluate whether a regulation is made to “impose the least burden on society”, including market participants, individuals, businesses, governmental entities, and other entities, taking into account the cumulative costs of regulation (Sec. 2).
Requires the SEC to evaluate whether a regulation is duplicative, inconsistent, or incompatible with other federal regulations (Sec. 2).
Requires the SEC to review existing regulations within 1 year of the enactment of this bill and every 5 years thereafter in order to determine whether any of its regulations are “outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome” and to modify or repeal them accordingly (Sec. 2).
Requires the SEC to provide the following information whenever it adopts or amends a regulation designated as a “major rule” (Sec. 2):
The purpose and intended consequences of the regulation;
The unintended or negative consequences that the SEC foresees resulting from the regulation; and
An assessment plan that will be used under the supervision of the Chief Economist of the SEC to assess whether the regulation has achieved the stated purposes.
Defines “major rule” as any rule that the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget finds has resulted in or is likely to result in the following (Sec. 2):
An annual effect of the economy of at least $100 million;
A “major” increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or
A “significant” adverse effect on consumption, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic or export markets.
Requires the SEC to include certain information in an assessment plan under this bill, including, but not limited to, an analysis of jobs added or lost as a result of the regulation (Sec. 2).
Expresses the sense of Congress that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board should follow the same requirements as the SEC under this bill (Sec. 3).
Specifies that a rule adopted by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board or any national securities association will not take effect unless the SEC determines that the Board or association has complied with the same requirements as the SEC under this bill (Sec. 4).