The Senate Banking Committee failed Tuesday to get enough members for a quorum in order to consider several high-profile nominations, including the two new appointees to be SEC Commissioners, Kara Stein and Michael Piwowar.
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White (right) was also scheduled to be confirmed to serve a full five-year term, expiring June 5, 2019. She was initially confirmed in early April to serve out the remainder of former SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro’s term.
A Senate Banking Committee spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor that it was “purely a scheduling issue” that prevented a majority of the senators from gathering to vote on the nominations, which also included Rep. Melvin Watt of North Carolina to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. “This was a hard morning to get everyone in the same place at the same time, with the swearing in ceremony for Sen. [Edward] Markey [of Massachusetts], all the nuclear option negotiations [over some of President Barack Obama's other nominees], etc.,” the spokesperson said.
The nominations were to occur starting at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, but the senators wrapped up quickly after seeing there was a lack of a quorum and headed to the Senate floor for a cloture vote on Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Senate voted 71-29 soon after to advance Cordray's nomination, a move that Republicans had been blocking, and he was confirmed by the Senate later that day.
The vote on the SEC and FHA nominations will occur Thursday, just before Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke appears before the Senate Banking Committee to give his semiannual monetary policy report.
Obama picked Stein, an aide to Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., to replace SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter, and Piwowar, an economist on the Senate Banking Committee’s staff, to replace Troy Paredes, a Republican.
Check out SEC Nominees Support Changing ‘Neither Admit Nor Deny’ Policy on ThinkAdvisor.