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Senate unanimously confirms new SEC head Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White

The Senate unanimously confirmed former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White on Monday to replace outgoing SEC Chairman Elisse Walter.

In an email to SEC employees, Walter said the swearing-in ceremony may take place in Washington headquarters on Friday. The Senate’s unanimous approval is a signal that an official vote was not necessary because White had strong bipartisan support, The Washington Post reports.

Despite concerns regarding her affiliations with Wall Street firms, White was ushered through her confirmation hearing with a 21 to one vote last month. For nearly 15 years, White worked as a white-collar defense attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York before going on to serve as a federal prosecutor. She returned to Debevoise in 2002.

Within several hours of her confirmation, lawmakers were pressuring White to reveal her regulatory agenda and to push forward on regulatory issues. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said White had promised to reform the credit rating agency industry if she was confirmed, and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said he had spoken to White about moving forward on a “crowdfunding” regulation that would allow start-up businesses to raise capital from individual investors online, according to The Washington Post.

White will be responsible for implementing regulations mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which includes the crowdfunding rule and is designed to help small businesses grow.

“The SEC needs to get the rules right,” White said at her confirmation hearing, The Washington Post reports. “But it also needs to get them done.”

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