During the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission's testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday, at least one U.S. senator is expecting to hear definitive plans on when the so-called uptick rule will be reinstated.

SEC Chair Mary Schapiro will appear before the Senate Banking Committee for a hearing on enhancing investor protection and the regulation of securities markets. Sen. Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), a vocal proponent for the reinstatement of the uptick rule, said Wednesday that it is time for the SEC to "signal clearly" it is committed to clamping down on abusive short-selling.

"We hope and expect that Chair Schapiro will declare the SEC's resolve to end abusive short-selling, through a combination of reinstating some form of the uptick rule and strong regulations and enforcement of a pre-borrow requirement," Kaufman said in an emailed statement.

The SEC's next open meeting is scheduled for April 8 in Washington and the commission said it will consider whether to propose short-sale price-test rules during the meeting.

Earlier this month, Kaufman and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) introduced a bill that seeks to reinstate the uptick rule and prohibit short sales that are not made on an increase in the price of the stock. The senators asked the SEC to write regulations within 60 days.

The uptick rule, instituted by the SEC following the Great Depression, mandated that short-selling of stocks could be done only after the share price ticked higher above the prior sale. The rule was designed as a guardrail to slow down the short-selling process and prevent short-sellers from driving the price of a stock at a faster clip.

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