The Securities and Exchange Commission, and not Congress, should and probably will lead the march toward reforms in the morally and legally fragmented mutual fund industry, a key legislator told Reuters.

Rep. Michael Oxley, the Ohio Republican who chairs the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said that if Congress is to tackle the issue of mutual fund reform, it probably will not be until after summer break. He expressed trust in the SEC‘s capability to act alone.

"I don‘t think I will be disappointed in the final outcome of the SEC rulemaking," Oxley said. "Frankly, that’s probably the way it should be." He added, "It depends on what the SEC does, but I have every expectation that they will close the circle on this."

Two weeks ago, another Republican committee member, Sen. Richard Selby of Alabama, said it was unlikely that this session of Congress would have time to grapple with the fund industry questions.

The stance marks a change from prior Capitol Hill postures, which seemed to hint that Congressional changes to fund laws were imminent. With 12 weeks left in the current session, though, those changes seem increasingly unlikely.

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