House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, introduced a bill to remove SEC Chairman Gary Gensler from his position by restructuring the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bill, known as the SEC Stabilization Act, would restructure the commission by adding an additional commissioner — resulting in six commissioners total — and establishing an executive director to oversee the agency's operations, effectively removing the role of chairman.
"American investors and industry deserve clear and consistent oversight, not political gamesmanship," Mr. Emmer said in a news release Monday, announcing the bill. "The SEC Stabilization Act will make common-sense changes to ensure that the SEC's priorities are with the investors they are charged to protect and not the whims of its reckless chair."
Republicans have taken issue with Mr. Gensler's leadership for a host of reasons. When he testified before the House Financial Services Committee in April, GOP lawmakers criticized what they call the SEC's "regulation by enforcement" approach to the cryptocurrency industry, the agency's climate disclosure rule proposal, and the pace of the SEC's rule-making.
Mr. Emmer's news release said the SEC chairman currently "retains a concerning level of discretion which leaves the other four commissioner positions effectively redundant."
The SEC is made up of five commissioners, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, one of whom is designated by the president as chairman, according to the SEC website. No more than three commissioner seats can be held by the same political party, and Democrats currently have a 3-2 majority.
Under the proposed legislation, each political party would be allowed to hold three of the six commissioner seats, "thus protecting U.S. capital markets from any future destabilizing political agenda," the news release said.
While there would be an executive director for oversight, "rule-making, enforcement, and investigation authority would remain with the commissioners," the release said. The bill would also change commissioner's terms to six years from five years.
An SEC spokesman declined to comment on the bill.