William Donaldson, Republican chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is defending his record for breaking down political divisions and obtaining unanimous votes among its commissioners.
According to a report from The Financial Times, the question of unanimity at the Commission arose recently when Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said that some people were "troubled" by recent reform votes that passed by a 3-2 margin. A lack of consensus could jeopardize the Commission's credibility, the Senator implied.
Another Congressman, Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who serves alongside Shelby on the banking committee, characterized divisions within the Commission over some of the more sensitive reforms as "disturbing."
The Commission consists of three Republicans and two Democrats.
While Donaldson suggested to the senators that perhaps the more contentious issues should draw opposing viewpoints, he added that he has worked "very, very hard" to achieve consensus among the commissioners and insisted that recent reforms will enhance investor protection.
Reiterating a point he raised during an Investment Company Institute conference earlier this year, Donaldson also told the senators that of the 3,000 votes that have taken place under his watch, 98% were unanimous.