As reported in BNA’s Privacy Law Watch on July 29, 2010, three bills were introduced by House Republicans to repeal Section 929I of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). Section 929I of the Dodd-Frank Act has been a source of controversy because it gives the SEC significant latitude to sidestep FOIA requests by providing that the SEC "shall not be compelled to disclose" certain information it obtains pursuant to the '34 Act when conducting surveillance, risk assessments or other regulatory and oversight activities.
The bills include (i) the “SEC Freedom of Information Restoration Act” (H.R. 5924) (introduced by Representatives Darrell E. Issa (R-Calif.) and Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) along with 13 other House Republicans); (ii) H.R. 5948 (introduced by Representative John Campbell (R-Calif.) and cosponsors Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-N.C.)), and (iii) the “SEC Transparency Act of 2010” (H.R. 5970) (introduced by Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas)). In addition to the bills introduced by House Republicans, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) also voiced concerns regarding the breadth of Section 929I and introduced bipartisan legislation cosponsored by John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Kaufman (D.-Del.) and Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa) that strikes exemptions that give the SEC authority to withhold records on entities subject to the SEC regulation.