Obama nominates pair to join CFTC

President Obama nominated two new commissioners Thursday to join the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The White House announced that the president would tap Brian Quintenz, a Republican, and Chris Brummer, a Democrat, to join the financial regulator.

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Quintenz is a former Capitol Hill staffer who also has extensive experience with hedge funds. He is currently the founder and head of Saeculum Capital Management, an investment firm he created in 2013.

In Washington, Quintenz was a staffer under retired Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), who at one point was the fourth-highest ranking Republican in the House. There, Quintenz eventually rose to the position of senior policy adviser.

Brummer is a law professor and faculty director at Georgetown University’s Institute of International Economic Law. Brummer previously was on the academic faculty at Vanderbilt University Law School and also was an academic fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2015, Brummer wrapped up a three-year term on the National Adjudicatory Council of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an industry-run regulator.

If confirmed in short order, the nominees would bring the derivatives regulator to full power for the first time in a year and a half. The five-member board currently has two open spots after former commissioners Mark Wetjen and Scott O’Malia stepped down from their roles in August 2015 and August 2014, respectively.

However, advancing financial nominees has proven to be a tough task for Obama as he still has several nominees waiting to be confirmed by the Senate at places like the SEC and the Federal Reserve.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who recently won a primary race for reelection, has indicated he may move on some of those picks in the near future, as none of them have cleared his panel yet.