SEC drops corporate political activity regulations


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dropped a proposed rule regarding corporate political activity from its rulemaking agenda for 2014. The proposed rule would have required publicly traded companies to include political spending in their shareholder reports.

Introduced for the 2013 regulatory agenda, the proposed rule immediately sparked controversy. Pro-disclosure advocates urged more transparency, arguing that shareholders had a right to know about such political spending. Opponents argued that the SEC was not equipped to regulate political speech and that the rule could erode corporate First Amendment rights secured by the non profit organization Citizens United.

The SEC did not act on the proposed rule in 2013. Moreover, the proposal was not included on its 2014 agenda. While the SEC could still revive the measure for future action, consideration of the measure appears to be tabled for now.

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