White House Sends Peirce SEC Nomination to Senate

Hester Peirce would be the second Republican member of the Commission

The White House on Wednesday sent to the Senate the nomination of Hester Peirce to be a commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Peirce, a Republican, who’s currently director of the Financial Markets Working Group and senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, would replace former SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar. If confirmed by the full Senate, Peirce’s term would expire on June 5, 2020.

The other Republican commissioner is Michael Piwowar. His term expires in 2018.

Democratic SEC Commissioner Kara Stein's term ended on June 5, but commissioners can stay on up to 18 months beyond their term, if not replaced by then. Stein's replacement would have a term that ended June 5, 2022, regardless of when he or she assumed the post. 

When all vacancies are filled, the Commission consists of two Republicans and two Democrats plus the chairman.

Peirce, who has served as a lawyer for the Senate Banking Committee, was also nominated during the Obama administration along with Lisa Fairfax, a Democrat who is a law professor at George Washington University.

A vote on the two women to fill the two open SEC commissioner spots was derailed last April when four democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee cast no votes.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., then postponed the committee vote on the two SEC nominations. “We’ll postpone the vote; there’s a little confusion here,” Shelby said during the April hearing.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that he was voting no because he had “not received answers sufficient from either of the nominees to the SEC on the question of the SEC’s rulemaking on the disclosure of corporate political spending.”

The answers he received in writing from Fairfax and Peirce, Schumer said, was “frankly gobbledygook; maybe yes, maybe no. I have to look at both sides.”

Fairfax is said to not be chosen by the Trump administration to fill the fifth commissioner spot at the agency.

Peirce, if confirmed, will enter the agency as it mulls coordinating a fiduciary rulemaking with the Department of Labor.

Peirce has voiced her concern about Labor’s fiduciary rule. “I’m quite worried about DOL’s proposal because I’ve heard that the SEC’s input wasn’t considered,” she responded to questioning during a confirmation hearing last March.

“We need to understand how rules like this are going to impact everyday people,” she said, adding that if confirmed she would “want to see what work SEC and DOL had done” on the rulemaking.

--- Check out FINRA Plays ‘Gotcha’ With Brokers, Short-Changes Investors: Hester Peirce on ThinkAdvisor.

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