IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 26, 2012
Mr. Vitter introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
To improve the consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the costs and benefits of its regulations and orders.
This Act may be cited as the
SEC Regulatory Accountability
Consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the costs and benefits of its regulations and orders
Section 23 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78w) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Consideration of costs and benefits
Before promulgating a regulation under the securities laws, or issuing any order pursuant to such laws, the Commission shall—
clearly identify the nature of the problem that the proposed regulation is designed to address, as well as assess the significance of that problem, to enable assessment of whether any new regulation is warranted;
utilize the Office of the Chief Economist to assess the costs and benefits, both qualitative and quantitative, of the intended regulation or order and propose or adopt a regulation or order only on a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation or order justify the costs of the intended regulation or order;
ensure that any regulation or order is accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand; and
measure and seek to improve the actual results of regulatory requirements.
In deciding whether and how to regulate, the Commission shall assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating. In addition, the Commission may, in making a reasoned determination of the costs and benefits of a potential regulation—
assess the best ways of protecting market participants and the public;
take into consideration investor choice;
consider the impact on capital formation;
evaluate the effect on the efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of securities markets;
consider the impact on market liquidity in the securities markets;
take into consideration price discovery;
evaluate sound risk management practices;
evaluate the degree and nature of the risks posed by various activities within the scope of its jurisdiction;
determine whether, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives, the regulation is tailored to impose the least burden on society, including market participants, individuals, businesses of differing sizes, and other entities (including State and local governmental entities), taking into account, to the extent practicable, the cumulative costs of regulations;
determine whether the regulation is inconsistent, incompatible, or duplicative of other Federal regulations; and
determine whether, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches maximize net benefits.
Review of Existing Regulations
The Commission shall periodically review its regulations and orders in effect before the date of enactment of this subsection to determine whether any such regulations or orders are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and shall modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with such review.