Senate Republicans signal strong support for SEC nominee Clayton

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By Sarah N. Lynch

<span class="articleLocation”>The confirmation process for Republican
President Donald Trump’s choice to chair the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission appears to be moving forward without any

Jay Clayton, a lawyer whose specialties include mergers and
acquisitions, met privately with Senate Banking Committee
Chairman Michael Crapo on Tuesday. They discussed the SEC’s role
in facilitating capital formation and ways to reduce “unnecessary burdens” for small companies, Crapo said in a
statement that he posted on Twitter.

“Had a great conversation,” Crapo added. In recent days, he
and other Senate Republicans have issued glowing statements
about Clayton’s qualifications and plans to help companies raise

While Democrats will probably raise questions about
Clayton’s ties to Wall Street at his confirmation hearing, they
will not be able to block him without some support from

Clayton’s hearing has not yet been scheduled but could come
as early as the week of Feb. 6, according to several people
familiar with the committee’s plans.

Private meetings with senators are typically held in advance
of confirmation hearings so that the lawmakers can get a chance
to vet the candidate and ask questions.

Last week, Clayton met with three other Republican lawmakers
on the panel – Senators Richard Shelby of Alabama, Tom Cotton of
Arkansas and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.

He also met separately on Tuesday with Senator David Perdue
of Georgia, who wrote on Twitter: “Jay knows capital formation.
He wants to create a level playing field & make things fair and
efficient. I fully support his nomination.”

Clayton is expected to have one-on-one meetings with some of
the panel’s Democrats sometime next week, according to one of
the sources.

Some Democrats on the committee, including Sherrod Brown,
the committee’s senior Democrat and Massachusetts Senator
Elizabeth Warren, have already expressed reservations about
Clayton because of his legal work at Sullivan & Cromwell
representing major Wall Street clients such as Goldman Sachs
Group Inc, where his wife works as a wealth manager.

Before Clayton accepted Trump’s nomination, his family
decided his wife would step down from her post at the investment
bank if he is confirmed, one of the people familiar with the
matter said.

In the meantime, the SEC’s lone Republican commissioner,
Michael Piwowar, is acting as chairman, according to people
familiar with the matter. The SEC, typically a five-member
commission, is down to two members until Clayton is confirmed.

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