Senate, in bipartisan vote, confirms Hauptman to NCUA Board; nears action on Waller for Fed Board

The president’s nomination of Kyle Hauptman to a seat on the board of the federal agency that regulates credit unions was confirmed by the Senate Wednesday on a bipartisan vote of 56-39, clearing the way for Hauptman’s swearing in and subsequent participation a vote slated Dec. 17 on the agency’s 2021-2022 budget.

Hauptman, nominated June 18 to the board of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), has most recently served as a staff director for the Senate Banking Committee Economic Policy subcommittee and as an economic policy advisor to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). He worked on the 2016 Trump presidential transition team and served as a policy advisor on financial services for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (now a U.S. senator representing Utah).

Kyle Hauptman, confirmed by the Senate to an NCUA Board seat Wednesday, will have a term that ends in August 2025. He is to fill the seat previously held by J. Mark McWatters.

Confirmed to a term that continues into August 2025, Hauptman will take the seat recently vacated by J. Mark McWatters, whose term on the board expired in August 2019. McWatters had been serving in holdover capacity until his resignation Nov. 20.

That resignation followed by one day McWatters’ noting during an open board meeting that he would not approve of the agency’s proposed budget without certain changes.

By press time, the Senate had also cleared a procedural step (on a vote of 50-45) and was poised to consider the president’s nomination of Christopher Waller to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board.

Waller is now executive vice president/director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He was recommended for confirmation by the Senate Banking Committee on a vote of 18-7.

Another Fed nominee, Judy Shelton, has received a cool reception in the Senate, particularly among Democrats, for her past comments about bringing back the gold standard, questioning the effectiveness of federal deposit insurance, and the Fed’s independence from political influence.

At one point during the nomination process, the White House indicated that the nominations of Shelton and Waller must be considered by the Senate in tandem. However, last month, Shelton’s nomination came before the Senate and failed to earn enough votes to cut off debate – action that would have paved the way for a final vote on her nomination.

News reports Tuesday and Wednesday indicated that future consideration of Shelton’s nomination in the Senate was unclear; so far, no vote had yet been scheduled. Meanwhile, Democrats get another vote on the Senate floor Wednesday once Mark Kelly (Ariz.) is sworn in. All Democrats, so far, have opposed Shelton’s nomination.

Senate roll-call vote on Hauptman