UPDATED: Credit union regulator nominee opens prospect for full board – first time since 2016

Republican chair praises selection of Democrat nominee

The announcement by President Donald Trump Friday of his intent to nominate former congressional staffer and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) agency liaison to Congress Todd M. Harper to the second open seat on the governing board of the agency opens the prospect that – for the first time in nearly three years – the agency’s board will have all seats filled.

Of course, the two nominees will have to be confirmed by the Senate first.

Todd M. Harper

Harper, if confirmed by the Senate, would fill a seat reserved for a Democrat on the three-member board, for a six-year term ending in 2021. The White House announced the president’s “intent to nominate” late Friday afternoon. (UPDATE: Harper’s nomination was formally submitted to the Senate Wednesday, Feb. 6)

Most recently the director of the agency’s Office of Public and Congressional Affairs and chief policy advisor to former NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz, Harper earlier was director for the House subcommittee on capital markets, according to a White House announcement posted late Friday afternoon.

The announcement notes that, in his role in the House, “he contributed to the efforts after the financial crisis to enact the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.”

Prior to that, Harper worked as legislative director for former Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.), the White House said, during which time he worked on “bipartisan legislation concerning credit union capital rules, terrorism risk insurance, auditing standards, and subprime mortgage lending.”

Harper earned his B.S. from Indiana University and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

There are two seats open on the board now: the one Harper is nominated to fill; and the second to be filled by nominee Rodney Hood, a Republican, who was re-nominated by the White House last month, for a term ending Aug. 2, 2023.

Hood would take the place of Rick Metsger (a Democrat), who has been serving as a holdover since his term expired in 2017.

The third seat is now held by Chairman J. Mark McWatters (a Republican), whose term ends in August of this year.

In a statement released Saturday, McWatters praised the nomination.

“With nearly 25 years of public service in the areas of financial services regulation and policy, Todd brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will serve him well as a member of the NCUA Board and as a regulator,” McWatters said.

The Federal Credit Union Act requires that “no more than two Board members can be from the same political party.” If confirmed, Democrat Harper would fill the seat which has been empty since 2016, when former Chairman Matz (also a Democrat) left office.

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