Senate Banking panel approves Trump's Fed, comptroller nominees

Senate Banking panel approves Trump's Fed, comptroller nominees
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The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday approved the nominations of two of President Trump’s top financial regulator nominees, sending them to the full Senate for consideration.

The panel approved along party lines Randal Quarles to serve as Federal Reserve vice chairman for supervision and Joseph Otting to serve as comptroller of the currency.

Only Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (D-N.D.), who is up for reelection in 2018 in a state Trump won by large margin in the presidential elecition, voted with all Republicans to approve Otting. Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank GOP defeats Schumer bid to delay tax vote MORE (D-Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyTrump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (D-Ind.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Republicans pursue two-week spending bill North Korea signals intent to 'complete' its nuclear force MORE (D-Md.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Comey back in the spotlight after Flynn makes a deal Warner: Every week another shoe drops in Russia investigation MORE (D-Va.) voted with Heitkamp and all Republicans to approve Quarles; Tester and Donnelly are both up for reelection next year in states Trump won.

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Quarles and Otting should face little difficulty clearing the GOP-controlled Senate. The two will play major roles in the Trump administration’s efforts to reshape financial regulation and “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Quarles, the undersecretary of domestic finance at the Treasury Department during the lead-up to the financial crisis, would oversee the Fed’s regulatory policy as the bank prepares for several high profile departures. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is expected to leave the bank by February, and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer announced Wednesday his plans to resign next month.

The departure of Yellen and Fischer, who have steered the Fed toward gradually normalizing interest rates, could widen the ideological divide between the banks’ more liberal governors and Trump’s conservative picks.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Regulation: Feds push to clarify regs on bump stocks | Interior wants Trump to shrink two more monuments | Navajo Nation sues over monument rollback | FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Senate panel approves bill easing Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (R-Idaho) said it was imperative that the full Senate confirm Quarles before Fischer steps down, so the Fed board can maintain a quorum.

Otting would lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which leads the federal government’s efforts to foster bank security and stability. Otting was the president and CEO of OneWest Bank, where he worked with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMark Mellman: History’s judgment Trump's motorcade greeted with chants of 'lock him up' in NYC Treasury watchdog probes lack of tax plan analysis from Mnuchin MORE and presided over hundreds of thousands of foreclosures.

Democrats criticized Otting for his tenure at OneWest bank, which has been investigated for multiple federal and state housing violations.

Otting defended his career, saying his experiences “touched virtually every segment of the industry,” including work at banks of all sizes.