The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services issued a May 19 ultimatum to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler to respond to its inquiries.
In a May 9 letter, the lawmakers demanded that the SEC deliver the requested internal non-public documents of its activities, including its charges against bankrupt FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, crypto regulations, and company climate disclosures.
According to the Committee, it sent a letter requesting the SEC to send a list of all digital asset entities that have tried registering with the Commission and the communications and documents on the process.
The Committee bashed Gensler and the SEC staff for failing to provide adequate responses to these inquiries. It noted that the SEC had sent voluminous documents of mostly publicly available information.
“It is inconceivable to us that a nearly 5,000-person agency with nearly 150 attorneys in its General Counsel’s office and more than 200 employees in the IT department is struggling to process three requests from Congress in a timely and responsive manner,” the letter read.
The Committee gave the financial regulator a May 19 deadline to provide the requested documents, or it would invite its General Counsel and its director of the Legislative Affairs Office for questioning.
Speaking about the Commission’s inadequate responses, Congressman Bill Huizenga said the lawmakers were tired of the SEC’s “stonewalling.” Huizenga added:
“During a Financial Committee hearing, Gary Gensler said he respects the role of congressional oversight. If Chair Gensler won’t live up to his own standard and answer our questions, we’ll make sure someone from his staff does for him.”
The letter marks the latest effort of the Committee to make sense of the SEC’s operation under Chair Gensler. Several crypto community members pointed out that the lawmakers’ previous letters and hearings have not yielded much regulatory clarity for the crypto industry.
Meanwhile, some members have suggested that the lawmakers subpoena and compel the Commission to respond to its requests.
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