White gets Senate committee nod for SEC chief

Crapo cites her commitment to economic analysis of rules

Mar 19, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved Mary Jo White's nomination as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 21-1, with the backing of every Republican on the panel, a move that indicates she's likely to be OK'd by the full Senate, as well.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, highlighted Ms. White's pledge at a March 12 hearing that the agency would evaluate the economic impact of potential rules thoroughly before they are advanced.

In last week's session, Ms. White assured Mr. Crapo that the SEC would take into consideration a cost-benefit analysis of a potential rule to raise investment advice standards for brokers when deciding whether to proceed with the rule.

“Her commitment to continuing the high standard for economic and regulatory analysis is extremely important,” Mr. Crapo said after Tuesday's vote. “She understands that the SEC cannot rush its regulatory process without understanding fully the risks, burdens and unintended consequences of its proposals.”

Only Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, opposed Ms. White's nomination.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said Ms. White and Richard Cordray, the nominee to be permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are well-positioned to crack down on market malfeasance. The panel approved Mr. Cordray on a party line vote, 12-10.

“Both bring law enforcement experience to their roles,” Mr. Johnson said before Tuesday's vote.

If approved by the full Senate, Ms. White would replace current SEC chairman Elisse Walter. President Barack Obama designated Ms. Walter as chairman in December when her predecessor, Mary Schapiro, resigned.

A vote by the full Senate on Ms. White's nomination has not been scheduled.

If senators don't approve her nomination this week, it will have to wait until April. The Senate will be out of session for a two-week recess beginning next week.

The Senate Banking Committee approved Ms. White for a term lasting through June 2014, the end of Ms. Schapiro's chairmanship tenure. It is expected that a related nomination for a full five-year term will be approved by the panel — and the Senate — in coming months.

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