Compromise on SEC Bill Folds

May 3, 2001 ( - A bill designed to save investors $14 billion over the next decade by reducing transaction fees paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) failed to reach the floor of the House of Representatives as an earlier compromise fell through.

The Investors and Capital Markets Fee Relief aims to reduce SEC fees by 60% and increase pay for agency employees.

The SEC currently collects more than six times the amount it needs to fund its operations. The money is used to pay for other federal programs.

Representative Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) had hoped to bring the bill to the House this week but Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-Indiana) opposed the pay increase portion of the bill.

A compromise was reached which would have given SEC lawyers, securities examiners and accountants with more than two years tenure a pay hike. It would also have given the agency the authority to petition the Office of Personnel Management to increase the salaries of its administrative and support staff.

The raise was designed to stem the agency’s high turnover rate over the past three years. The SEC has lost more than 30% of its staff, or 1,000 employees, to the private sector and other federal regulators.

The Senate passed its version of the legislation in late March. Its bill, brought to the floor by leaders of the Senate Banking Committee, gave pay parity to all SEC employees.