A revolt by Democratic lawmakers is jeopardizing the nominations of two White House picks for the Securities and Exchange Commission, threatening to further hamper the short-handed agency struggling to complete key rules.

During what was expected to be a routine vote Thursday, a group of Democratic senators drew a line in the sand, demanding that the markets regulator adopt new rules forcing companies to disclose spending on political activities—an issue on which the commission’s current chairman, along with the nominees, have been noncommittal.

Four Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee, including Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, said they would oppose the SEC picks, after which the panel postponed the vote...

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