Republican calls for resignation of SEC chairman in scathing speech

 April 19, 2023

Republican Warren Davidson (Oh.) called for the removal of Joe Biden's anti-crypto chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission at an oversight hearing Tuesday.

Davidson blasted Gary Gensler over his aggressive regulation of cryptocurrency and accused the chief regulator of failing to protect investors.

“I am introducing legislation that removes the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and replaces the role with an executive director that reports to the board, where all authority would reside," Davidson said.

Removing SEC chair

Davidson aired a number of grievances with Gensler's regulatory agenda, which Republicans have characterized as arbitrary and harmful to growth.

"You average more than two rules proposals a month, you inappropriately provide inappropriately short comment periods. You have unworkable and unlawful ESG disclosure mandates on the market," Davidson said.

"You have essentially a ‘Hotel California’ rule for crypto when you can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave," Davidson added.

Crypto crackdown

There were a number of fiery exchanges during Tuesday's hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, as Republicans accused Gensler of driving the crypto industry overseas with overbearing and unclear regulations.

Gensler repeatedly insisted that the SEC is simply trying to rein in an industry "rife with noncompliance."

“This noncompliance not only puts investors at risk, but also puts at risk the public’s trust in our capital markets,” Gensler said.

Of course, there's a gaping hole in Gensler's benevolent regulator narrative: his utter failure to protect investors from the implosion of crypto exchange FTX. Gensler invited more skepticism of his motives Tuesday when he refused to clarify whether Ethereum is a security or a commodity.

"Does it concern you that your approach to the digital asset industry is actually driving this industry out of the United States?” Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Mn.) asked.

Climate agenda

Republicans have also raised concern about a rule requiring public companies to report "climate risk." When pressed on the issue, Gensler demurred.

"We are not a climate regulator and we're neutral about that," Gensler said.

Gensler was also grilled for ignoring Republicans' request for information about the climate rule. Bill Huizenga (R-Mi.) chastised Gensler for responding with a copy of a letter that Republicans had sent to Gensler.

"Frankly, it’s insufficient and unacceptable what has been going on.”

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