Senate Banking Committee approves SEC nominees Hester Peirce and Robert L. Jackson Jr.

Confirmation by full Senate would give SEC full complement of five members for first time in more than two years

Nov 1, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved Hester Peirce and Robert L. Jackson Jr. to serve on the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If they are confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Peirce, a Republican, and Mr. Jackson, a Democrat, would give the SEC a full complement of five commissioners for the first time in more than two years.

Ms. Peirce, a senior fellow at the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University, would replace Daniel Gallagher Jr., who left the SEC in October 2015. Mr. Jackson, a law professor at Columbia University, would take the seat of Luis Aguilar, who departed in December 2015.

It's not clear when a Senate floor vote will be scheduled. But the committee's unanimous voice vote gives the pair momentum. Last year, Ms. Peirce and then-Democratic nominee Lisa Fairfax did not receive a floor vote. Ms. Peirce was renominated this year, while Democrats replaced Ms. Fairfax with Mr. Jackson.

"It's important to have a full commission," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and ranking member of the panel, said before the vote. "If confirmed, I expect Ms. Peirce and Mr. Jackson to make investor protection their key concern."

The committee chairman, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, praised the nominees.

"Ms. Peirce and Mr. Jackson both demonstrated their knowledge of the securities markets and their commitment to improving our markets and protecting investors," Mr. Crapo said.

During their confirmation hearing, both nominees addressed reform of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., the industry-funded broker-dealer regulator. The SEC oversees Finra.

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