August 1, 2016 •
SEC Fights MSRB Rule Challenge by Asserting It Cannot Fight
A Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) pay-to-play rule amendment set to take effect on August 17 is being challenged in federal court.
However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) argues it cannot defend the lawsuit because the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 prohibits the SEC from using federal funding to finalize, issue, or implement any regulation regarding the disclosure of political contributions, contributions to tax-exempt organizations, or dues paid to trade associations.
The SEC argues the same federal restrictions preclude the commission from using funds to defend the MSRB rule on its merits.
The challenge to the amendment is being made in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. It was brought by the Georgia and Tennessee Republican parties and the New York State Republican Committee.
Currently, MSRB Rule G-37 prohibits certain political contributions for two years prior to engaging in a municipal securities business where a related official received contributions. The amendment extends the pay-to-play rule to municipal advisors.
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