As President Obama prepares to sign into law on July 21 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, lawmakers didn’t waste any time in probing the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Schapiro, on how the agency will handle the deluge of duties it’s responsible for under the Dodd-Frank reform bill, which passed the Senate on July 15.
Schapiro “faces many more hurdles in the coming months, especially as she works to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” said Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pennsylvania), chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, during an SEC oversight hearing held Tuesday, July 20. “This statute grants the Commission many new powers and endows it with significant new responsibilities.”
Kanjorski said in his opening remarks that under the Dodd-Frank reform bill the SEC would “independently and in cooperation with other agencies, write and police more than 100 new rules on issues like the sale of derivatives, the fiduciary duty of broker/dealers, the nomination of board directors by investors, and mandatory arbitration clauses inserted into securities contracts.”
Schapiro added during her comments that the SEC would also be required to perform 20 new studies. Kanjorski said he would hold a series of oversight hearings to gauge the SEC’s progress in implementing the reform measures laid out in the Dodd-Frank bill.
When asked by lawmakers if she felt confident that the Commission could handle its new workload, Schapiro said that the SEC would “have to double our efforts in order to get the work done” under the Dodd-Frank bill. Schapiro noted that if President Obama’s $1.26 billion budget for the agency in FY 2011 is enacted, which amounts to a 12% increase over the FY 2010 funding level, it would permit the SEC to hire an additional 374 professionals, a 10% increase over FY 2010.
“That would bring the total number of staff to about 4,200,” Schapiro said. The President’s proposed FY 2011 budget also included a request for $24 million to begin implementation of the President’s financial reform proposal.