Waters Statement on SEC Agenda
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement in reaction to the agenda of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which was released last week.
“While I’m pleased to see the SEC will be dealing with a number of important issues next year, including derivatives regulation and measures to increase investor protections for private securities offerings, I’m disappointed that a number of rules are absent from its 2014 agenda. These include rules related to political spending disclosure, ‘proxy access’ for shareholders, and extractive industry revenue disclosure.
In the aftermath of the Citizens United decision, the SEC’s political spending rule is critical to ensure there is accountability for those corporations contributing untold amounts into political campaigns. It must proceed without further delay.
I am disappointed that the SEC will not re-propose the ‘proxy access’ rule authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act. Proxy access is necessary for long-term shareholders to have a meaningful choice in exercising their right to vote for board members, and in turn to pursue effective board accountability. Implementing this provision aligns with the SEC’s mission to protect investors, and should be a priority.
Through the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress directed the SEC to implement the extractive industries disclosure provision. This measure requires companies listed on US exchanges to disclose payments they make to governments for oil, gas and mining resources.
Resource revenue transparency is important to investors because it enables them to make better-informed assessments of risks and opportunity costs, threats to corporate reputation, and the long-term prospects of the companies in which they invest. Moreover, public disclosure of extractive revenues is fundamental to improving governance, curbing corruption, improving revenue management, and allowing greater accountability from governments for spending that serves the public interest.
Extractive industry transparency is critically important to investors, and the fundamental role it plays in improving governance, curbing corruption, and ensuring greater accountability.
I strongly believe the SEC should make these important rules a priority in the coming year.”