Wednesday, January 12, 2022

McHenry, Toomey raise concerns with SEC Chair Gensler for short comment periods

By Elena Eyber, J.D.

The top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Pat Toomey (R-PA), sent a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler raising concerns with Gensler’s decision to limit outside input on rulemakings by providing unreasonably short public comment periods. McHenry and Toomey urged Gensler to extend the comment periods of all proposed rulemakings.

McHenry and Toomey stressed that public comments are critical to effective SEC rulemaking and properly scrutinizing a proposed rulemaking often requires a significant investment of time and resources, especially when a proposal consists of several hundred pages. Short comment periods pose particular difficulties when overlapping with holidays, year-end operational or regulatory obligations, or other times when commenters are expected to manage other deadlines.

McHenry and Toomey pointed out that the majority of SEC proposals put forward under Gensler’s chairmanship have allowed less than 60 days for public comment with two proposals providing 60-day comment periods, three proposals providing 45-day comment periods, and six proposals providing 30-day comment periods. McHenry and Toomey urged Gensler to immediately extend all comment periods for the SEC’s proposed rules of significance to at least 60 days, including reopening the comment filing for those rulemakings with shorter comment periods that have closed prematurely. They also requested that Gensler extend the comment period on the money market fund rule revisions to at least a 90-day comment period, consistent with the process for the most recent prior significant substantive revisions to the money market fund rule.