"[W]e respectfully ask that this rulemaking be prioritized," they wrote.

The letter said "income inequality is a growing concern among many Americans," and cited press reports that put CEO pay at an average of nearly $11 million a year, more than 300 times the average worker's pay.

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It also said that some companies already disclose the ratio between CEO pay and the pay of average workers, and dismissed complaints from other companies that it could be difficult to calculate this ratio.

"Some companies have publicly voiced their concern with the calculation of these figures," it said. "In our view — as well as that of the testimony of Lynn Turner, former Chief Accountant of the SEC — this calculation should not be difficult for any well-organized company."

Among the signatories to the letter was Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Financial Services subcommittee on Capital Markets, and other Democrats on the full committee.