Clock Ticking on Biden Filling Key Financial Posts

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President Joe Biden has about a year to confirm and nominate some top officials overseeing the U.S. financial system before Democrats risk losing control of the Senate, The Hill reported.

The news outlet noted Republicans are believed to have a good chance of regaining control of the Senate as a result of the midterms.

According to The Hill, confirmation fights are anticipated over up to five Federal Reserve nominees within the first months of this year.

Biden has not named three of those nominees — including one to be the Fed’s top regulatory official.

Others still to be nominated include someone to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and two members of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“2022 is going to be a very busy year on the administrative agency level in large part because if the Democrats lose control of the House and Senate in 2023, it changes a little bit of a dynamic,” said Jason Rosenstock, partner at the lobbying firm Thorn Run Partners. “It just makes it a little bit harder to move their agenda. So I think this is the year to pounce, so to speak.”

Adding to the crunch was Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams’ decision to step down, effective Feb. 4.

Reuters reported that McWilliams, a Republican holdover from the Trump administration, had clashed with the majority-Democrat board. Her term was set to end in mid-2023.

Hilary Allen, a banking and financial law professor at American University, told The Hill that all the vacancies in posts overseeing the financial system will certainly have an impact.

“Agencies have by and large been able to discharge their core missions even in the absence of key appointments,” she noted.

 “However, without key leadership positions filled, it is very difficult for agencies to pivot to start addressing new problems or to take innovative approaches to longstanding problems.”

Ian Katz, director at research consultancy Capital Alpha Partners noted Biden and Democrats have limited time to get any nominees through the Senate if Republicans take control of the Senate.

“They’re running up against the clock with the elections in November,” he said.