Senators: Dodd-Frank lawsuit ‘fundamentally’ threatens Congress’s power

Lugar, who left Congress this month, and Cardin authored the Dodd-Frank provision that required the SEC disclosure rules. They have intervened in litigation against the rules on the side of the SEC.

The American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Foreign Trade Council and the Independent Petroleum Association of America are challenging the rules, and say they will put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage overseas.

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Their lawsuit claims the SEC’s economic analysis is badly flawed, and that the rule violates the First Amendment “by “compelling U.S. companies to engage in costly speech on controversial matters in order to influence political affairs in other nations.”

Cardin, Lugar and Levin, in the new filing, reject the various claims, including the First Amendment argument.

“Stated simply, there is nothing in the Cardin-Lugar Amendment that requires anything other than garden variety disclosure of factual, financial information by SEC issuers to the public. These required factual disclosures are devoid of any ideological or political message,” their new brief states.

The rule is aimed at increasing transparency to help undo the so-called “resource curse,” in which some impoverished countries in Africa and elsewhere are plagued by high levels of corruption and conflict alongside their energy and mineral wealth.