July 27, 2018
President Trump’s nominee for the open Republican Securities and Exchange Commissioner slot, Elad Roisman, took the first step in the confirmation process, facing questions from members of the Senate Banking Committee.
Roisman is currently Chief Counsel for the Committee and formerly served as counsel to SEC Commissioner Dan Gallagher and as Chief Counsel to NYSE Euronext. He has been nominated to fill the seat vacated in July by Commissioner Michael Piwowar and has received strong support from Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID).
Roisman answered questions on a range of SEC issues, including those centered on insider trading and inequality. Mr. Roisman received questions about his views on SEC regulatory jurisprudence, including a strong focus on the fiduciary standard and the role of the SEC. While no questions were asked about executive compensation specifically, Senators did touch on inequality in the financial system and issues with insider trading.
No nominee has been named yet to replace Democrat Commissioner Kara Stein whose term expired in 2017 but who continues to serve as Commissioner under an SEC rule that allows Commissioners to serve for up to 18 months after the expiration of their term.
SEC Commissioner nominees—one Republican and one Democrat—are typically paired through the confirmation process. Previously, it had been assumed Mr. Roisman’s confirmation to the SEC would await the nomination of a Democrat counterpart to replace Stein.
The confirmation process for Mr. Roisman likely will move forward—despite no Democrat nominee. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate may be trying have the full Senate confirm nominees prior to the beginning of the election season. The next step will be for the Senate Banking Committee to vote on Mr. Roisman’s confirmation.Why it’s important: Roisman's confirmation would allow the SEC to engage in rulemaking. Currently, the SEC is deadlocked with two Republican and two Democrat Commissioners, and thus SEC Chair Jay Clayton cannot proceed with any rulemakings opposed by the two Democrats.