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Why the Gridlock Slowing New Rules for Wall Street Won't Go Away

  • U.S. Senate weighs SEC picks who could resume partisan battles
  • Agency working on reforms for stock trading and mutual funds

The long wait by Wall Street’s top regulator for a full slate of commissioners may soon end. That doesn’t mean the partisan fights over rules and corporate punishments that have stalled action at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will stop.

Democrat Lisa Fairfax, a George Washington University law professor, and Republican Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at George Mason University, will testify before lawmakers Tuesday, almost five months after President Barack Obama nominated them to join the SEC. While Fairfax’s Senate confirmation would be a win for liberal groups that have vilified banks, Peirce has been a consistent critic of the massive regulatory expansion that’s occurred since the financial crisis.