Wetjen to take over CFTC as acting chief

A former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) is poised to take the reins at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The financial regulator announced Monday that Mark Wetjen, now a commissioner at the CFTC, will take over as acting commissioner after current head Gary Gensler’s term expires.

Gensler has led the Wall Street watchdog since 2009. His term technically expired in April, but he has stayed on the job because his replacement has not been confirmed. However, Gensler must leave the agency by the end of the year, at which point Wetjen will take over as acting commissioner.

“I am so pleased that my friend and partner Mark Wetjen will be Acting Chairman at such an exciting time for the agency,” said Gensler in a statement. “The CFTC will be well served with Mark at the helm as it continues the important work of implementing financial reforms for the benefit of the public.”

Wetjen said he was “honored” to be picked to keep the agency running, and said he would work with his fellow commissioners to monitor markets and implement the Wall Street reform law.

Gensler’s permanent replacement, former Treasury official Timothy Massad, has been nominated by the president but is still early in the confirmation process. Massad, who previously was in charge of monitoring the government’s bailout programs, has yet to receive a nomination hearing and be voted out by a committee, which both typically occur before heading to the full Senate for confirmation.

In addition to Gensler, the CFTC is facing additional vacancies. Republican Commissioner Jillian Sommers resigned from the agency in July, and Democratic Commissioner Bart Chilton has said he plans to leave the regulator soon.

Before joining the CFTC in 2011, Wetjen was a senior staffer on financial services matters for Reid, and also worked as a private attorney.