Senate set to approve nomination of CFTC nominee in Sept
* Wetjen vote could happen soon after Senate returns
* Reid spokesman: so far no objections to nomination
* Little insight on Wetjen's views could help in Senate
By Christopher Doering
WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate is expected to move quickly in September to approve the nomination of Mark Wetjen as a Democratic commissioner at the U.S. futures regulator, a move that could prove crucial as the agency implements a range of sweeping new Wall Street reforms.
The earliest the full Senate could move to confirm Wetjen was Sept. 6 when it returns from a nearly month-long recess. Wetjen was approved last week by the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
"If we come back and no one has objections it could happen very quickly, and since we don't know of any holds or objections at the moment that could be possible," said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
A vote on Wetjen's nomination before the full Senate was initially slated for last week, but it was delayed to give lawmakers more time to review his record, said Jentleson. The Senate also will have time to review Wetjen's nomination for a few days when they return.
While there are currently no objections to Wetjen or signs of a challenge being imminent, one could serve to delay his nomination indefinitely.
The 37-year-old Wetjen would replace outgoing Commissioner Michael Dunn, a Democrat known as an independent voice on the CFTC, which has two Republican commissioners and two Democratic commissioners, including Chairman Gary Gensler, remaining.
Wetjen could play a major role in helping the CFTC finish rules such as position limits that otherwise might lack the necessary minimum three votes needed for approval. Currently, he is counsel and senior policy adviser to Reid.
During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee, Wetjen was careful not to tip his hand on his views on major issues affecting the CFTC and how he might vote.
At the hearing, Wetjen told lawmakers that future rules should avoid placing unnecessary costs on firms that use swaps, and should minimize so-called unintended consequences that hurt U.S. competitiveness or market liquidity.
Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the CFTC's former director of trading and markets, said the lack of certainty on where Wetjen stands on the issues will prove beneficial.
"If he came with a clear cut agenda one way or the other I think his chances would be much less but he doesn't appear to have that kind of agenda," said Greenberger, who said the support by the Senate Agriculture Committee is a sign Wetjen is acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans.
"He's very well-known in the Senate, and he says he's open minded and I think people are prepared to take him at his word," he said.
(Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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