A bill that would impose SEC exam fees on investment advisors has been reintroduced by Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee.

The Securities and Exchange Commission would be required to administer the user fee, funds from which could only be used to expand the number of SEC advisor examinations.

In computing the fee, the SEC would be mandated to develop a formula based on the estimated costs and planned frequency of inspections, and factors including the advisor’s size and assets under management, number and types of clients and other possible factors.

This is the second session of Congress in a row that Waters has proposed the bill. Last year, the then-chairman of the committee, Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus, refused to give it a hearing.

When asked if Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) would hold a hearing on the bill and if he supported it, committee spokesman Jeff Emerson said Monday the chairman's office hadn't seen it.

"We'll have to take a look at it," Emerson said.

Waters’ bill immediately won praise from the Investment Advisers Association (IAA), the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the Financial Planning Coalition, but it was opposed by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

IAA Executive Director David Tittsworth said it would be the fastest and most cost effective means to increasing the frequency of advisor exams.

NASAA President Heath Abshure called the proposed dedicated fee the most effective and efficient way to provide for more robust oversight of federally registered advisors.

However, SIFMA is advocating a self-regulatory organization as the best way to enhance advisor oversight.

SEC spokesman John Nester said the commission is not taking a position on the bill but “we certainly share the congresswoman’s interest in effective investment advisor oversight.”

IAA lobbyist Neil Simon told Financial Advisor he is hopeful a companion bill will be introduced in the Senate, possibly with bipartisan support.