Action stands out among federal regulators

(Aug. 13, 2021) The renomination of Harper to a seat on the NCUA Board holds some other significance. First, it would keep him on the board much longer than the other two current members of the board. Second, the NCUA Board seat is only one of five federal financial institution regulators that are currently open (or filled with “acting” or holdover incumbents) for which the White House has seen fit to recently submit a nomination.

If confirmed to a new term, NCUA Board Chairman Todd Harper would immediately snare the longest tenure of the three current members of the NCUA Board. Now-Member (and former chairman) Hood’s term ends two years from now (in August 2023). The term of Vice Chairman Kyle Hauptman (also a Republican nominee) ends in August 2025.

By naming Harper to a new term, the Biden administration is attempting to fill permanently (that is, not in an acting or holdover capacity) one of five empty or expired financial regulators’ terms. Four of those are still seeking a nominee to fill the seat permanently. Those are:

  • Comptroller of the Currency (now filled by Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu);
  • Vice chairman of the FDIC Board (now vacant);
  • Member of the Federal Reserve Board (now vacant);
  • Member of the FDIC Board (now held by Martin Gruenberg, serving in a holdover capacity since December 2018).

No one has been nominated to permanently fill any of those vacant, acting, or holdover positions.

A sixth position, for a permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has a nominee – Rohit Chopra, now a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Chopra’s nomination was recommended to the full Senate by tied vote (12-12) in March. The nomination, for a five-year term, now awaits action by the Senate; no vote has yet been scheduled. In the meantime, Dave Uejio has been filling the seat – but his days at the helm of the bureau may be numbered. On Aug. 5, Uejio appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing on his nomination to be assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).