Senate Banking Committee Endorses Cox

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The Senate Banking Committee voted unanimously Thursday to recommend Senate confirmation of Republican nominee Christopher Cox as the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The committee also reportedly voted to endorse nominees SEC commissioner Roel Campos to a second term and SEC market regulation division director Annette Nazareth for the opening on the five-member commission. Campos and Nazareth are Democrats.

There has been little doubt that Cox would be given clear passage through his confirmation hearings on Tuesday. As President Bush‘s top choice for the chairmanship, Cox breezed through his inquiry, attempting to allay fears that he would roll back or curb rules put in place by outgoing chairman William Donaldson. At the hearing, Cox stressed vigorous enforcement of existing rules and pledged to implement the controversial standard requiring public companies to expense the value of stock options.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights reportedly criticized Cox’s testimony about his work in the 1980s as a private lawyer for First Pension Corp., a former pension-funds administrator. The group reportedly asserted that Cox omitted “important facts about the extent of his involvement with companies that perpetrated a $130 million fraud on small investors,” reported Reuters.

A Cox spokesperson said the issue was addressed “decades ago” and again at the hearing, the news service reported. The court had dismissed all actions against Cox, according to his representative.

Cox’s term would last through June 2009 if he’s confirmed by the Senate, the news service notes. Nazareth’s term would end in 2007, while Campos’s would run until mid-2010.

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