Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, plans to hold a hearing on September 23 to explore concerns that have been raised about the provision of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that provides some exemption to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Frank said in a statement that given “the serious questions that have been raised about the impact this provision could have on access to important information about financial transactions,” he would hold a hearing when Congress returned in September.
The hearing would take place on September 23, he said, for three reasons: because it’s the first “practical day” for a hearing of the full committee due to the short legislative week beginning on September 13; because Yom Kippur falls on September 18; and because it “should provide ample time to take corrective legislation action if it is needed.”
According to Frank, the provision of the new law which addresses the FOIA exemption issue was originally requested by SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro and by former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), ranking minority member on the Banking Committee, “included the provision in a manager’s amendment which was not adopted in the Senate, but which became part of the base text of the bill before it went to the conference committee,” Frank said in the statement.