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Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White announced Monday that she intends to step down at the end of President Obama’s tenure in January, ensuring that President-elect Trump will be able to reshape the market oversight agency earlier in his administration. White’s term expires in 2019.

In a statement posted to the SEC’s website late Monday afternoon, White said that she was “very proud” of the commission’s enforcement efforts during her tenure, and of the implementation of post-crisis rules.

White, an Obama appointee, has served since 2013.

In recent months, she has come under increasing criticism from the left for the perception that she is not sufficiently tough on corporate oversight. In particular, progressives have faulted her for failing to implement a rule mandating that corporations disclose contributions to political nonprofits. In October, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for President Obama to fire White, citing a number of grievances.

The Obama administration, however, has stood by her. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that she has been a “tireless leader in the effort to ensure that our financial markets are safe, secure and fair.”

Her departure, coupled with the fact that two spots on the five-member commission are currently unfilled, means that Trump will have the ability to reshape the agency.

President Obama has two nominees pending that have cleared the Senate Banking Committee but have not been approved by the full Senate: Lisa Fairfax, a law professor selected by Democrats, and Hester Peirce, a think tank analyst and former GOP staffer.

President Obama: No plans to 'let up' on agenda in final days

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“[We will] make sure we finish what we started,” the president said.

11/14/16 3:47 PM



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