Senate Banking to consider SEC nominees

The Senate Banking Committee is set to consider a pair of picks to join the Securities and Exchange Commission next week.

The panel announced Tuesday that in one week, it would hold a hearing to consider three nominees pending before it. Two have been picked by the president to join the SEC, which currently has three of five members..

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The hearing is the first indication that nominee work at the Banking Committee, which had been so slow-going that Democrats were openly complaining about it, may be picking back up.

On tap are nominations for Lisa Fairfax, a Democratic nominee to join the SEC; and Hester Peirce, a Republican. President Obama nominated them in October, and the regulator has been operating with only three commissioners since the beginning of 2016.

The Banking Committee, under Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), has yet to clear a nominee this Congress. And Shelby had indicated that he was unwilling to consider anyone until after his primary election.

Shelby easily defeated a handful of challengers in the Alabama earlier this month.

Several nominees to financial regulators are awaiting action by the panel. In addition to the SEC candidates, there are two nominees to join the Federal Reserve, as well as Adam Szubin, nominated by the president to serve as the Treasury Department’s top official on terrorism and financial crimes. The Banking Committee has not yet announced plans for those nominees.

Alongside the SEC picks to be vetted Tuesday, the committee will also consider the nomination of Rhett Jeppson to serve as the director of the U.S. Mint.