April 07, 2017
This week, three Senate Democrats joined Senate Banking Committee Republicans in approving the nomination of SEC Chair nominee Jay Clayton, setting up a confirmation vote in the Senate hopefully later this month. Two of the Democrats who supported Mr. Clayton, Senator Jon Tester from Montana and Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, are among those Senate Democrats who are up for election in 2018 in states which voted for President Trump in 2016 and thus their support for Mr. Clayton is not surprising. However, Senator Mark Warner, who is not up for re-election until 2020 and who represents the Commonwealth of Virginia which handily supported Secretary Clinton provided more of a surprise vote. Mr. Warner's support for Mr. Clayton's nomination for SEC Chair indicates that when Mr. Clayton's nomination is considered by the full Senate, he is likely to easily be confirmed. Given that the SEC Chair is responsible for setting agency policy, and several heads of the key divisions will not be filled until Mr. Clayton is in place, promptly completing his confirmation is an important step in the pending review and potential revision of controversial Dodd-Frank rules, including the pay ratio and conflict minerals.