Confirmation of the two new SEC Commissioners, Hester Peirce and Lisa Fairfax, will be on a hold a bit longer.
A vote on the two women to fill the two open SEC commissioner spots was derailed Thursday 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.
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.”
Such a rulemaking “should be a priority of the SEC,” Schumer continued, as the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision “opened the floodgates for a deluge of dark money into the political system — undisclosed, anonymous, unaccountable.”
The proposed SEC rule “would at least compel corporations to disclose if and where they are making political donations. It would introduce a small but undeniably important degree of accountability into a system that’s broken.”
Schumer noted the 1.2 million public commenters who urged the SEC to move ahead on the rule.
The three other dissenters on Peirce and Fairfax’s confirmation for failure to specifically support a political corporate spending rule by the SEC were Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Sen. John Merkley, D-Ore. and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Menendez said he planned to meet with both Peirce and Fairfax in “the coming weeks” to discuss their positions on the rulemaking.