Five nominations in pipeline for leadership seats at regulatory agencies – only one is on verge of Senate confirmation

Five nominations are in the pipeline for seats at the leadership of three federal financial institution regulatory agencies – but only one of the five is close to taking that seat, according to a review of the status of the nominees.

The nomination of Michelle (“Miki”) Bowman for a seat on the board of governors of the Federal Reserve is the farthest along in the process, now on the Senate’s executive calendar for floor consideration. While the Senate is in recess until after the Nov. 6 election (scheduled to return Nov. 13), her nomination as a Fed governor (and the representative on the board of community banks) could be brought up for a vote quickly following the Senate’s return.

Compared to the other nominees for leadership positions at the federal regulators, Bowman’s nomination has proceeded somewhat quickly. Named to the Fed Board in late April by President Donald Trump, Bowman sat for a Senate confirmation hearing in mid-May (along with Richard Clarida, nominee for vice chairman of the Fed Board, who was confirmed in late August (and sworn in a little over a month ago).

The Senate Banking Committee recommended Bowman for confirmation by a vote of 18-7 in June, and her nomination has been pending before the Senate since. If confirmed next month, her nomination would be pending for seven months.

But her progress in the confirmation pipeline is proceeding considerably faster than another nominee awaiting action, and also to the Fed Board. Marvin Goodfriend was nominated by Trump for a seat on the Fed Board in mid-November of last year. He had a confirmation hearing before Senate Banking in late January and was recommended by the committee for confirmation Feb. 8. However, the committee voted 13-12 (along party lines) to advance his nomination. The nomination has been stalled in the Senate since then.

In the meantime, almost a year’s time has passed since Goodfriend’s name was sent by the White House to the Senate.

Another key nomination awaiting consideration is that for Kathleen (“Kathy”) Kraninger as director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as CFPB). Kraninger would succeed acting director John (“Mick”) Mulvaney in heading up the post – and would be the first permanent director since Richard Cordray resigned nearly a year ago (to run for governor of Ohio).

Kraninger was nominated in mid-June and sat for a Banking Committee hearing the next month. However, the committee also voted very closely (and along party lines) in August to recommend her for confirmation, by a 13-12 vote. Since then, there has been no action.

And there is little need for speed for the Senate to act on her nomination. Mulvaney is serving now as an appointee under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA). Under that statute, he may remain in his post for an additional 210 days if a nomination is made for someone, such as Kraninger, to take the position permanently (that is, as long as the nomination is not confirmed). Under that timing, Mulvaney could remain in office until mid-January without the Senate taking action.

Meanwhile, the nomination of Rodney Hood to take a seat on the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board is also pending. Hood was nominated in June by Trump, but his nomination has not yet received a hearing by the Banking Committee.

If confirmed, Hood would serve a term that runs to Aug. 2, 2023. He would replace current Board Member (and former Chairman) Rick Metsger. The term of Metsger, a Democrat, expired last August; he has been serving as a holdover.

Hood may find himself alone on the board before too long, unless other nominations are forthcoming. The term of current chairman J. Mark McWatters, a Republican, expires next August – and his chief of staff, Sarah Vega, this month announced she will be taking a job with a credit union trade group.

The third seat on the three-member board is now unfilled (and no nomination has been made by the Trump administration).

Finally, Jean Nellie Liang was nominated late last month to the Federal Reserve board. If she is confirmed along with Bowman and Goodfriend, all seven seats on the board of governors would be filled.

Bio: Miki Bowman

Bio: Kathy Kraninger

Bio: Jean Nellie Liang