April 19, 2022 - Last week, forty-seven Members of Congress, including Democrats and Republicans, sent a letter to Gary Gensler, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission urging him to extend the Commission’s comment periods for complex rulemakings to give the public enough time to provide effective and meaningful input. The bipartisan letter was sent specifically to request that the comment periods for two important proposed rules, the Private Fund Adviser proposal and the Form PF proposal be extended to at least 90 days post-publication in the Federal Register. (They are currently pegged at only 30 days post publication).
The Members noted that the Commission has traditionally afforded reasonable comment period for significant rulemakings “regardless of Administration” and urged the Commission to evaluate whether the public has adequate time to respond thoughtfully.
This letter comes on the heels of a letter to Gensler signed by 25 financial trade associations including the LSTA that similarly urged the Commission to extent comment periods. The trades’ letter noted that the Commission has recently published 15 new rule proposals that will require commentors to read and analyze roughly 3,570 pages and respond to 2,260 individually identified questions and several broad catch-all requests. Almost all these proposals require that comments be submitted within only 30 days from publication in the Federal Register, a far cry from the typical 60 days for even basic rulemakings and 90 or more for complex rulemakings.
As the trades’ letter notes, “[e]xceptionally short comment periods do not provide commenters with the opportunity to fully consider a rule proposal and draft a focused and clear response to the Commission. In an environment where numerous rule changes are proposed the public also needs sufficient time for a more holistically review of the Commission’s rulemaking agenda and the possible interconnectedness of these proposals.”