Obama nominates 2 Senate aides as SEC commissioners

Two senior U.S. Senate aides were nominated by President Obama to join the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kara M. Stein would replace Elisse B. Walter as a Democratic commissioner and Michael S. Piwowar would succeed Troy A. Paredes as a Republican appointee on the five-member commission that oversees the country’s capital markets, according to a news release issued by the White House.

Stein has served as a top aide to Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Piwowar has been chief Republican economist on the Senate Banking Committee.

Stein and Piwowar, whose nominations must be confirmed by the Senate, would join a commission adjusting to new priorities under SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, who was sworn in last month. The agency is under pressure to finish rules mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, on which both Stein and Piwowar worked as Senate staff members.

Their selection provides an opportunity for Democrats to secure a full term for White, who was confirmed in April for a term ending in June 2014.


Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), chairman of the Banking Committee, plans to have the panel vote on all three nominations at the same hearing, according to an aide who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public.

Sen. Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, the top Republican on the panel, has previously said White’s full term could be voted on when the Senate considered other SEC vacancies.

“I look forward to moving both their nominations forward, as well as Chairman White’s full five-year term, to ensure the commission continues to operate at full strength,” Johnson said in a statement after the nominees were announced Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this week that he would probably schedule Senate votes on 15 nominations in July.