Two recent posting in the blogosphere discuss the long-threatened Congressional efforts to roll back the impact of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. First, a post from Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Litigation discusses Congressional efforts to repeal specific regulations and pass fundamental and structural reform of the federal rulemaking system. Second, Broc Romanek of theCorporateCounsel.net Blog has a post which discusses the Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011, which will require whistleblowers to report matters to his or her employer before reporting to the SEC.
As noted in Mr. Hamilton's blog, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's agenda includes two bills designed to reform the federal rulemaking structure. One of the proposals is H.R. 10, known as the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act or "REINS." As Mr. Hamilton explained, the bill:
would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote on all new major regulations before they can be enforced. Major regulations are defined as those that have resulted in or are likely to result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or U.S. competitiveness.
The second bill is H.R. 527, known as the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which "is designed to expand and enhance the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980." It will "require federal agencies to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis so the agencies will know how a proposed regulation will affect small businesses before it is adopted. "
Mr. Romanek's blog entry quotes from a law alert by Cydney S. Posner of Cooley LLP. H.R. 2483, the Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011 would amend the Securities Exchange Act and Commodity Exchange Act. Both the SEC and the CFTC have recently put whistleblower rules in place that do not require a whistleblower to report the matter to the employer prior to reporting to the regulator (discussed here and here). The bill provides that, except under limited circumstances, the whistleblower must internally report the matter to the employer and then may report to the agency within 180 days.