Action on credit union agency nominees cuts the ‘open seat’ number of regulators to four

The White House announcement Friday that President Donald Trump intends to make another nomination to fill the open seats on the board of the federal credit union regulator – for the first time in three years – reduced by one-third the number of regulator seats open.

But there are still four positions still to be filled.

Trump on Friday nominated former Hill staffer Todd M. Harper to fill one of the two open seats on the NCUA Board. Harper is also a former NCUA staff member, serving as the principal liaison for the agency to Capitol Hill.

The president’s action means that the two open seats on the NCUA Board are now poised to be filled, especially as the president last month named Rodney Hood to the other open seat on the board. (Harper was nominated to take the seat that has been open since 2016, when former Chairman Debbie Matz retired from the board; the term runs to April, 2021. Hood was nominated to a seat that is now occupied by Board Member Rick Metsger, for a term that ends in August 2023. However, Metsger’s term ran out in August 2017; he has been serving as a holdover since then.)

The White House has now tapped two of the six open seats on regulator boards now open. Still to be named: two each for the boards of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve.

On the FDIC Board, the seats of vice chairman and member, both appointed by the president. Martin J. Gruenberg, whose term on the board ended in December (after previously serving as both vice chairman and chairman of the board), continues to serve as a holdover. The vice chairman’s seat has been open since Thomas Hoenig stepped down last spring after his term ended.

Meanwhile, at the Federal Reserve, two seats remain open on the board of governors. Although the White House had named two to fill those seats (Marvin Goodfriend and Jean Nellie Liang), the Senate never voted on confirmation for either. Liang – who didn’t even receive a confirmation hearing – withdrew her name from further consideration early this year.

Since the beginning of the year, the White House has given little indication of who it will name to the remaining open slots (or when). Last week, rumors surfaced that Trump was considering former pizza company executive – and Republican 2012 president nominee hopeful – Herman Cain for a position on the Fed board. Cain is a former member and chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.