President Trump has nominated longtime Congressional staffer James Clinger to head the FDIC. The veteran chief counsel for the House Financial Services Committee will replace current FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, whose term ends in November. However, Clinger could join the FDIC board as soon as he’s confirmed by the Senate, filling a seat that’s currently vacant.
Clinger’s nomination means Trump’s picks for the nation’s top banking regulators largely are set. Soon after taking office, he nominated former Wall Street attorney Jay Clayton to head the SEC. In early June, Trump selected Joseph Otting as his choice to lead the OCC, and the president is widely reported to be planning to nominate former Treasury staffer Randal Quarles to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors as vice chairman of supervision. With Congress scheduled to go on recess in August, it’s likely most nomination hearings will be pushed to later this year, according to reports. Once Trump’s nominees are in place, Fed Chair Janet Yellen likely will be the last holdover from the Obama administration until her term ends in February 2018.
Clinger’s career in Congress includes helping write the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which overturned a longtime law separating consumer and investment banking. More recently, he worked for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who has sponsored legislation that would roll back financial regulation, including The Financial CHOICE Act, a bill that would essentially undo much of the Dodd-Frank Act and overhaul the CFPB. After being approved by the House along party lines in mid-June, the bill is scheduled to be reviewed by the Senate later this year.
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