U.S. Representative Christopher Cox, nominated to succeed William Donaldson as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said he would pursue "vigorous enforcement" of securities laws, Bloomberg reports.

Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Cox told lawmakers that the SEC must protect the U.S. financial industry through its rulemaking and enforcement policies, the report said. He also assured that the financial markets would continue to operate efficiently in the event of another terrorist attack.

"My top priority will be vigorous enforcement of our nation's securities laws," said Cox, a California Republican. "The Commission must be vigilant on behalf of investors and stalwart against fraud and unfair dealing."

Cox, 52, appealed to the committee that will decide whether to pass along his nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, according to Bloomberg. Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Chuck Schumer spoke on behalf of Cox, indicating that Democrats will not attempt to block his confirmation.

The committee will reconvene today and could vote on Cox, as well as on two Democratic SEC nominees, Roel Campos and Annette Nazareth.

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