| WASHINGTON, June 23
WASHINGTON, June 23 A U.S. judge has granted a
House of Representatives panel and one of its staffers more time
to prepare for a court battle over whether they must comply with
a federal regulator's subpoenas tied to an insider-trading
The order made public on Monday by U.S. District Judge Paul
Gardephe in Manhattan gives the House Ways and Means Committee
and its healthcare subcommittee staff director Brian Sutter
until July 4 to respond to the Securities and Exchange
Commission's demands for records.
Gardephe also delayed to an unspecified date a court hearing
on the matter, which had been previously scheduled for July 1.
The SEC on Friday asked the court to compel the committee to
comply with its subpoena, which is seeking information related
to a probe into whether Sutter leaked material nonpublic
information about Medicare reimbursement rates to Mark Hayes, a
lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig LLP.
The committee is resisting the SEC's efforts, in what many
say marks a rare dispute that could test the boundary of the
SEC's powers to compel the legislative branch of government to
cooperate with its enforcement of the federal securities laws.
In court filings, the SEC said that Hayes spoke with Sutter
the same day that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
announced reimbursement rates for the Medicare Advantage
program. The regulator says Hayes then emailed the brokerage
firm Height Securities, which shortly afterwards sent its
clients a "flash alert" suggesting the deal could help insurance
companies such as Humana Inc and Health Net Inc.
Share prices of both companies jumped after the report was
The House committee is opposing the SEC, saying the U.S.
Constitution shields the panel and Sutter from being compelled
to testify or produce documents.
A spokeswoman for Greenberg Traurig said on Friday after the
SEC filed its action that the firm is cooperating with the
The SEC will have until July 11 to respond to the
committee's opposing arguments.
The case is SEC v. Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S.
House of Representatives et al, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 14-mc-00193.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)