California Rep. Chris Cox Tabbed As Next SEC Chief

Calif. Rep. Cox Tabbed As Next SEC Chief (AP)

Moving quickly to fill a high-profile regulatory vacancy, President Bush intends to nominate Rep. Christopher Cox to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Republican officials. Cox, R-Calif., a conservative veteran of 16 years in Congress with wide-ranging policy interests, would succeed William Donaldson, who announced Wednesday he was stepping down on June 30 after a two-year tenure marked by efforts to restore investor confidence in markets shaken by corporate excess.

Donaldson was an activist who often clashed with traditional business allies. They chafed over what they perceived as an excessive regulatory zeal during his tenure.

Cox would be the second House Republican picked this spring for a top administration post. Rob Portman was an Ohio congressman before his confirmation as U.S. Trade Representative in late April.

The officials who disclosed Bush’s intention to nominate Cox did so on condition of anonymity, saying the White House wanted to make a public announcement, perhaps as early as Thursday.

Cox, 52, is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and a veteran of the Financial Services Committee. The holder of a business and a law degree, he has voted for legislation to make it easier for companies to defend against securities fraud lawsuits.

One would think SEC Chairman would be a step down from a House committee chairmanship. Otherwise, Cox is a solid choice.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.