Washington, D.C. – On the first full day of business for the new Republican Congress, the House of Representatives barely fell short of passing a regressive piece of legislation that would have set back data transparency efforts in financial regulation. H.R. 37, the “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act“, includes Rep. Robert Hurt’s Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, which would exempt 60 percent of public companies from filing searchable financial data with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Each time this bill has come to the floor, the number of Members who have opposed it has increased. Over the coming days, we will work to educate Members of the wide-ranging ramifications and damage that the Hurt provision could cause by erecting a permanent legal barrier to the transformation that is desperately needed at the SEC,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition.
“While Rep. Hurt had a point when he said that the SEC does a poor job of integrating data into the corporate disclosure system, Congress should be directing the SEC to fix these problems – not simply eliminating data reporting altogether for most companies.
‘If the SEC is forced to stop collecting searchable data from most public companies, it will be unable to use data tools to illuminate potential fraud and protect investors. We urge the House leadership to break up the bill so that Members can consider the Hurt provision on its on merits,” he concluded.