Against backdrop of expiring terms (and replacement nomination), CU regulators highlight bipartisanship

Emphasizing that bipartisanship is getting results at the federal credit union regulatory agency, the Republican chairman and the Democratic member of the agency’s board listed their accomplishments working together in a quarterly newsletter sent to all federally insured credit unions Tuesday.

At a Nov. 15 meeting, NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters (left) and Board Member Rick Metsger consider upcoming agency budgets.

In the fourth-quarter newsletter for 2018 issued by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters (R) and Member Rick Metsger (D) reprinted an article published earlier this month in a trade publication highlighting their bipartisanship.

“For more than two years, the NCUA has operated with a bipartisan two-member Board. Given today’s political climate, you might reasonably expect this means our Board has ceased to function,” their joint effort states. “Well, we are happy to report that political gridlock most certainly has not taken hold at the NCUA.”

The column by the two regulators comes against a backdrop of their terms officially nearing their ends. Metsger is already serving as a holdover in his position; his term officially ended in August 2017. McWatters is now in the last 10 months of his current term, which ends in August 2019.

Meanwhile, the third seat on the NCUA Board remains unfilled – as it has been since former Chairman Debbie Matz (D) retired in May 2016.

President Donald Trump has nominated a replacement for Metsger, but action on that is not imminent in the Senate. In June, the Trump tapped Rodney Hood (R) to take Metsger’s seat for a term that ends in August 2023. For Hood, the appointment would be a reprise of service on the board: he was first appointed to the credit union regulator’s board by President George W. Bush Nov. 15, 2005; he was named vice chairman of the board Nov. 30 that year. He served the remainder of a six-year term, leaving the board in August 2009.

However, Hood’s nomination has not proceeded in the Senate: no hearing has yet been set by the Senate Banking Committee. The Senate target date for adjournment, sine die, is Dec. 14 – less than three weeks away – giving the Senate scant time to consider the nomination even if the Banking Committee holds a hearing for Hood.

Once the Senate adjourns for the 115th Congress, Hood’s nomination will likely be returned to the president (meaning Hood would have to be renominated by the White House for consideration by the 116th Congress’ Senate, which opens in early January).

Meanwhile, no nomination has yet been made for the third, open seat on the board. The term for that seat ends in August 2021.

Also contained in the agency’s fourth-quarter newsletter are articles on:

  • How to Submit Requests to Serve A Local Community Using the Narrative Approach
  • How the Enterprise Solution Modernization Program Will Benefit Credit Unions
  • Agencies and Institutions Gather to Discuss Improving Diversity
  • How NCUA’s Revised Merger Rule Will Impact Mergers Going Forward

The NCUA Report – Fourth Quarter 2018