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Obama to nominate White to chair SEC

Jan. 24, 2013 - 08:38AM   |  
By DAVID JACKSON   |   Comments

Stressing enforcement of new Wall Street regulations, President Obama plans to nominate former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White on Thursday to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, White House officials said.

Obama will also re-nominate Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, officials said. Obama had made Cordray a recess appointment after Senate Republicans opposed his initial nomination.

Two administration officials spoke on condition of anonymity in deference to Obama’s formal announcement later Thursday.

During the Clinton administration, White served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. She specialized in white collar crime, a key reason for her selection as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

During her tenure as U.S. attorney, White’s office won convictions related to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa.

At the 2:30 p.m. announcement about White and Cordray, Obama plans to stress plans for aggressive enforcement of the new consumer protections as well as the Wall Street regulations he signed into law during his first term, officials said.

If confirmed by the Senate, White would replace Elisse Walter, the acting chair in the wake of Mary Schapiro’s resignation in December.

Senate Republicans have criticized the new financial regulations, saying they will slow economic growth and cost jobs.

The GOP has also attacked creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren — now a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

In 2011, Obama nominated Cordray, a former attorney general from Ohio, to lead the new bureau, but Republicans blocked him. The president then made Cordray a recess appointment, a tenure that expires at the end of the year.

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