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 HeitkampDemocrats desperate for a win hail spending bill Koch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps 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) TesterDemocrats desperate for a win hail spending bill 2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP: We will grow our majority in midterms MORE (D-Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDemocrats desperate for a win hail spending bill Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to speed up infrastructure permitting 2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives MORE (D-Ind.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenWash. gov signs universal voter registration law Spending talks face new pressure Around 100 visa waivers granted in early part of Trump travel ban MORE (D-Md.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTop Senate Dems demand report from Trump on UK nerve agent attack The Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Tech: What we learned from Zuckerberg's media blitz | Opening arguments in AT&T-Time Warner trial | Trump plans new tariffs on China 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.

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 CrapoPower struggle threatens to sink bank legislation Overnight Regulation: FDA rule to limit nicotine in cigarettes moves forward | Court tosses Obama financial adviser rule | House GOP threatens to hold up Senate Dodd-Frank rollback Overnight Finance: House threatens to freeze Senate Dodd-Frank rollback | New Russia sanctions | Trump vs. Trudeau on trade | Court tosses Obama financial adviser rule 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 MnuchinTrump says new tariffs, penalties on China could total B White House race to replace Hope Hicks has two lead contenders Overnight Finance: Congress struggles to strike funding deal as deadline nears | Immigration, ObamaCare, Gateway project divide lawmakers | FTC to probe Facebook | Mnuchin plays hardball on tariffs 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.