Press Releases

Subcommittee Holds Hybrid Hearing on SEC’s Response to COVID-19 to Stabilize Capital Markets

Washington, June 25, 2020 -

Today, the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets held a hearing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, Jay Clayton. Committee Republicans focused on the Commission's work to stabilize capital markets and reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, streamline the flow of capital to ensure a strong economic recovery, and increase investment opportunities for Main Street investors.

Watch Subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Huizenga’s (MI-02) opening remarks here.

Ranking Member Huizenga: “The last several months have upended the livelihood and wellbeing for millions of American families throughout the United States. With almost every state under stay-at-home orders, everyone has been affected by the pandemic. Not only has this affected our daily lives, but it has certainly impacted our capital markets as well. 

“Undoubtedly, these have been uncertain times for American investors and market participants. During the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic caused severe economic and capital market shocks. This turmoil was evidenced by sharp price declines—yet spikes in volumes—in equities markets, which closed the first quarter with their worst performance since the financial crisis. Additionally, the ultimate symbol of these unprecedented times was the March 23rd closing of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which was the first time the floor was closed while electronic trading continued.

“Although we saw significant market volatility early in the crisis, I believe that capital markets have been generally resilient. Our capital markets have undergone the toughest pandemic stress test to-date and I’m pleased to report that they seemed to pass with flying colors. 

“As we are beginning to emerge from the depths of this health crisis, we have a unique opportunity to carefully assess the actions taken to address the pandemic and its impact.  We should take stock of the lessons learned and how we might improve and modernize moving forward. We need to find more ways to jumpstart our economy, help grow our small businesses, reduce unnecessary regulatory costs and burdens on our public companies. We must also improve and expand access to the capital markets for both businesses and investors in order to better put their money to work. There is no doubt that many of COVID-19’s impacts will be long-lasting, and it will necessarily influence how America conducts business for the foreseeable future.

“Chairman Clayton, I look forward to hearing from you today on ways to reignite the economy, help businesses get back up and running, as well as get Americans back to work, not to mention what you often talk about as protecting main street investors. And we need those folks to increase savings and retirement returns for these main street Americans.”

Watch Ranking Member Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) opening remarks here.

Ranking Member McHenry: “I commend your leadership and the Commission’s diligence during these tough times. The constant, focused work that you all have been about is commendable. This gives assurance to markets, and to the American people, that our government can actually function even in a time when we have to be socially distant.

“We need to ensure our regulators, like the SEC, are focused on policies that make our markets stronger, more attractive, and more competitive to see our way through this economic challenge borne out of this health crisis.

“I know the Commission has made a lot of progress on proposals to stimulate the economy and economic growth and prioritize targeted reforms to address the current needs related to the virus.”

Watch the hearing here.

Visit Financial Services Committee Republicans’ website for additional resources and updates on efforts to mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus on consumers.

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