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 HeitkampHarris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents 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 shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Pence seeks to boost Daines in critical Montana Senate race This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans MORE (D-Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyTrump plans to pick Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg on court Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Trump meets with potential Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett at White House MORE (D-Ind.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenCongress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out Democrats fear Russia interference could spoil bid to retake Senate Mid-Atlantic states sue EPA over Chesapeake Bay pollution MORE (D-Md.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerFBI director casts doubt on concerns over mail-in voting fraud Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials It's time to upgrade benefits 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 CrapoBottom line Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations 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 - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' 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.