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H.R. 1062 (113th): SEC Regulatory Accountability Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 17, 2013.

SEC Regulatory Accountability Act - (Sec. 2) Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Act) to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), before issuing a regulation under the securities laws, to: (1) identify the nature and source of the problem that the proposed regulation is designed to address in order to assess whether any new regulation is warranted; (2) use the SEC Chief Economist to assess the costs and benefits of the intended regulation and adopt it only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify the costs; (3) identify and assess the available alternatives that were considered; and (4) ensure that any regulation is accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand.

Requires the SEC to: (1) consider whether the rulemaking will promote efficiency, competition, and capital formation; (2) consider the impact of the regulation upon investor choice, market liquidity, and small business; (3) explain in its final rule the nature of comments received concerning the proposed rule or rule change; and (4) respond to those comments, explaining any changes made in response and the reasons that it did not incorporate industry group concerns regarding potential costs or benefits.

Requires the SEC to: (1) review periodically its existing regulations to determine if they are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome; and (2) modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them.

Requires the SEC, whenever it adopts or amends a major rule, to state in its adopting release: (1) the purposes and intended consequences of the regulation, (2) the post-implementation quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure the economic impact of the regulation and the extent to which it has accomplished the stated purposes, (3) the assessment plan that will be used under the supervision of the Chief Economist to assess whether the regulation has achieved those purposes, and (4) any foreseeable unintended or negative consequences.

Requires the assessment plan to: (1) consider the costs, benefits, and intended and unintended consequences of the regulation; (2) specify the data to be collected, the methods for its collection and analysis, and an assessment completion date; and (3) analyze jobs added or lost as a result of the regulation, differentiating between public and private sector jobs.

Waives notice and comment requirements for the data collection if the SEC has published its assessment plan for notice and comment at least 30 days before adoption of a final regulation or amendment.

(Sec. 3) Expresses the sense of Congress that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board should also follow the requirements set forth by this Act.

(Sec. 4) Prohibits a rule adopted by either the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board or any registered national securities association from taking effect unless the SEC determines that, in adopting such rule, such entities have complied with the requirements of this Act.