More than half a year after they were tabbed by President Obama, Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce took their first step to becoming Securities and Exchange Commission commissioners Thursday with a formal voice vote of approval by the Senate Banking Committee.

The nominations now head to the full Senate.

Fairfax, a George Washington University securities law professor, is on track to replace departed Democratic Commissioner Luis Aguilar while Peirce, director of the George Mason University Mercatus Center Financial Markets Working Group, would take the place of former Republican Commissioner Daniel Gallagher.

The SEC has been operating with three commissioners instead of the usual five for all of 2016. SEC Chair Mary Jo White has repeatedly said the short staffing at the top of the SEC has not impeded its work.

Banking Committee approval of the nominees was delayed in part by objections by four Democratic senators, led by New York’s Chuck Schumer, who refused to say if they were in favor of having the SEC require the disclosure by public companies of their political contributions.

The SEC is prohibited by its current budget law from enacting a requirement, but some Democrats have contended the agency’s staff could develop a rule.