Shelton, Brooks nominations likely have narrow window for consideration by new Senate

Two candidates have been renominated by the White House to lead federal financial institution regulators – but Senate action on those nominations most likely will have to take place by Jan. 20 in order for them to take seats at the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The nominations were submitted to the new Congress on its first day, Sunday, Jan. 3.

Judy Shelton, whose nomination to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board was stalled in the previous Congress, was renominated by President Donald Trump for the remainder of a 14-year term that started Feb. 1, 2010 (in other words, for a term lasting four years). Shelton would take the seat held by former Chairman Janet L. Yellen, who is now the nominee to be Treasury Secretary in the administration of incoming President Joseph R. Biden.

Shelton’s nomination late last year became stalled in the Senate after it became apparent she could not muster enough Republican votes to be confirmed; all Senate Democrats had voiced opposition to Shelton. In July, the Senate Banking Committee recommended her to the full Senate for confirmation on a 13-12, strictly party-line vote.

Brian P. Brooks – now the acting Comptroller of the Currency – was also renominated to be permanent comptroller for a five-year term. He had been named by Trump last year to take the permanent comptroller position, but the Senate never acted on the nomination. Brooks was named acting comptroller in May, following the resignation of then-Comptroller Joseph Otting.

Neither of the nominations was included on the “privileged nominations” list attached to the most recent Senate Executive Calendar for Wednesday, which entitles them to expedited procedures.

The nominations have essentially two weeks to be considered by the Senate before Biden takes office at noon on Jan. 20. Following that point, the new president can order the nominations withdrawn.

Thirty Nominations Sent to the Senate