CHOICE Act Introduced
Section: Washington Update

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has released a discussion draft of the 126-page Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act (CHOICE Act). In promoting the bill, Rep. Hensarling has declared it a “plan to replace the Dodd-Frank Act.” The legislation would:
  • Impose an across-the-board requirement that all financial regulators conduct a detailed cost-benefit analysis of all proposed regulations.
  • Reauthorize the SEC for a period of five years with funding, structural and enforcement reforms.
  • Abolish the Office of Financial Research.
  • Impose enhanced penalties for financial fraud and self-dealing and promote greater transparency and accountability in the civil enforcement process.
  • Allow the SEC to triple the monetary fines sought in both administrative and civil actions in certain cases where the penalties are tied to the defendant’s illegal profits.
  • Give the SEC new authority to impose sanctions equal to investor losses in cases involving “fraud, deceit, manipulation or deliberate or reckless disregard of a regulatory requirement” where the loss or risk of loss is significant, and increase the stakes for repeat offenders.
  • Increase the maximum criminal fines for individuals and firms that engage in insider trading and other corrupt practices.
  • Stipulate that all fines collected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board will be remitted to the Treasury for deficit reduction.
View the three-page executive summary of the CHOICE Act.