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 HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate Trump’s big wall isn’t going anywhere — and the polls show why Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing 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) TesterMontana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Vulnerable Dems side with Warren in battle over consumer bureau The Memo: Trump roars into rally season MORE (D-Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyTrump’s big wall isn’t going anywhere — and the polls show why The Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing MORE (D-Ind.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenNew sanctions would hurt Russia — but hurt American industry more Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans MORE (D-Md.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDustbin 2020: The best Dems who surely won’t get the nomination WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe Democrats find dead man’s signature on petition gathered by GOP volunteers 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 CrapoTougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans On The Money: Trump floats steeper tariffs on China | Senate GOP battles for leverage with House on spending | Trump asked Treasury to look into capital gains tax cut | Senate clears 4B 'minibus' spending measure Obstacles mount for quick action on Russia sanctions 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report: Where the Mueller probe stands Treasury releases proposed rules on major part of Trump tax law Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech 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.