Resurgent House Democrats are on a collision course with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the need for restrictions on corporate executive compensation - an issue Republican lawmakers managed to keep bottled up despite repeated reports of corporate pay abuses during the last Congress.Leading the charge for reform is corporate America's worst congressional nightmare: Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, who has long championed legislation to force the SEC to take a stronger stance against excessive compensation for boardroom big shots.

One of Frank's first acts as chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee was to express disapproval of new SEC rules that he said would loosen the already lax reporting requirements for executive compensation by public companies.

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