GOP blasts SEC for slow responses to oversight requests


The letter was signed by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who chairs the panel's subcommittee on financial services. It was sent to Elisse Walter, an SEC commissioner who took over as chairman of the regulator after Mary Schapiro stepped down earlier this month.

The letter runs down a list of grievances the lawmakers have with how the SEC has responded to its requests. Among the complaints are sending emails without the relevant attachments, missing requested deadlines by months, and refusing to supply interagency communications.

For example, the lawmakers lambaste the SEC for its handling an August request for communications from the SEC's chief economist on whether he concurred with the economic analysis underlying two proposed rules. Originally, Schapiro simply responded by saying the economist agreed, but failed to provide communications documenting such. It then took four weeks for the SEC to sign off on two emails indicating as much, which totaled 13 words.

In another case, the SEC responded to a committee request by producing just a "small fraction" of documents tied to the SEC's work on money market fund reforms, and responded nearly two months late to a followup request.

The SEC and the committee, particularly McHenry, have had a rocky history in recent months. The lawmaker has been critical of the SEC's implementation of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which he sponsored and was signed into law in April. Schapiro had aired her concerns about the law before its enactment, saying it could roll back key investor protections. McHenry accused her of deliberately slow-walking its implementation due to her "ideological opposition" to it.

He later cited emails sent by Schapiro his panel obtained, which appear to show Schapiro delaying a portion of the law following complaints from a consumer advocate.

"I don't want to be tagged with an Anti-Investor legacy," she wrote.

An SEC spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.