Before the midterm congressional elections last year, analysts were predicting that the outcome would determine how far Sarbanes-Oxley reform would progress. Shortly after the elections, a Washington Times columnist pondered whether the Democrats who won their posts with promises of a "slimmer" Sarbox would follow through, and if so, how long it would take them.
The debate continues today. Writing in National Review Online, Americans for Prosperity policy director Phil Kerpen is taking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her colleagues to task for failing to walk the talk that won them their seats.
When they were campaigning, Kerpen says, they agreed that Sarbox -- especially the 404 audit requirements -- was too stiff. Even if they didn't favor an all out repeal, they agreed that a change was necessary.
Yet, he points out, most of them voted against the Sarbox amendment that recently failed in the Senate. And even though a similar House amendment has yet to come to a vote, only two of its twenty-something sponsors are Democrats.
Even though it seemed odd to us back in October, at this point it looks like Foley & Lardner's Tom Hartman was right -- the reform movement has lost steam, at least in the Congress.