After House Vote, Law Repealing SEC Exemption From FOIA Ready for Obama’s Signature

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By: Sharon Theimer, The Associated Press

A proposal that would let the public get details on the government’s oversight of financial services firms has been passed by Congress.

The House voted Thursday to repeal broad Freedom of Information Act exemptions that were given to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the nation’s new financial services law. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama.

The exemptions let the SEC keep secret a range of information collected during inspections of financial services firms. The commission has argued that companies would be less willing to provide information voluntarily if their competitors could use the open records law to obtain it.

The Senate approved the measure earlier this week.

Congress likely will reopen the issue after the election. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he wants to pass legislation to block companies from using the SEC to get proprietary information about their rivals.

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