WASHINGTON -- A divided Securities and Exchange Commission continued this week to debate the pro and cons of formally regulating the nation's powerful bond rating agencies as commissioner sent letters to Capitol Hill outlining their positions.

In separate letters to Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., SEC Chairman Richard Breeden and Commissioner J. Carter Beese Jr. said they opposed new standards on rating agencies because they already are subject to strong market disciplines and certain federal standards. Rep. Dingell is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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