Senate Banking panel approves Trump's Fed, comptroller nominees

Senate Banking panel approves Trump's Fed, comptroller nominees
© Getty Images

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 taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction 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) TesterHow the border deal came together GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms MORE (D-Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (D-Ind.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Senate buzz grows for Abrams after speech electrifies Dems MORE (D-Md.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSchiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Steel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 CrapoPrivate insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers race to pass border deal | Trump rips 'stingy' Democrats, but says shutdown would be 'terrible' | Battle over contractor back pay | Banking panel kicks off data security talks Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers press officials on 2020 election security | T-Mobile, Sprint execs defend merger before Congress | Officials charge alleged Iranian spy | Senate panel kicks off talks on data security bill 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 MnuchinHillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week Treasury sanctions top Maduro allies in Venezuela 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.