With Hauptman confirmation, NCUA gets full board of ‘Hs’

(Dec. 4, 2020) A new member will be sitting at the next meeting of the NCUA Board when it gathers in about two weeks, thanks to action taken by the Senate this week.

Kyle Hauptman

Kyle S. Hauptman was confirmed by the Senate Wednesday on a bipartisan vote of 56-39, clearing the way for his swearing in and subsequent participation in a vote slated Dec. 17 on the agency’s 2021-2022 budget.

Nominated June 18 to the NCUA Board by President Donald Trump, Hauptman has most recently served as a staff director for the economic policy subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee 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).

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.

NASCUS President and CEO Lucy Ito congratulated Hauptman on behalf of the state credit union system. “We look forward to working with him over the coming years,” Ito said. “There are a number of key issues of importance to state credit unions, including maintaining an equitable overhead transfer rate from the NCUSIF, continued consideration of subordinated debt for use by all federally insured credit unions, and on-going dialogue and collaboration between state and federal regulators. We are eager to meet with the newest NCUA Board member to discuss these and other issues as together we work toward a strong, and safe, credit union system.”

Hauptman’s confirmation fills out the membership of the agency’s board, as he joins Chairman Rodney Hood and Member Todd Harper. Both Hood and Hauptman are Republican appointees; Harper is a Democrat appointee. Hauptman becomes the third member to join the board in less than two years: both Hood and Harper joined the board in the spring of 2019 (although Hood is serving a second stint on the panel, having served on the board from 2005-09).

During a board briefing Wednesday, both Hood and Harper publicly congratulated Hauptman on his confirmation. Harper, further, noted that all three board members’ names now begin with the letter “H,” replacing the “Ms” on the board (when Chairman Debbie Matz, and Board Members Rick Metsger and J. Mark McWatters all served on the board together).

Interestingly, the last time all three board members’ last names began with the same letter (the “Ms”), all three, eventually, served as board chairmen. Harper could be in line to become the next board chairman (as a Democratic appointee) after Joe Biden is inaugurated as president Jan. 20.