The Senate Banking Committee signed off on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Jelena McWilliams to become the next chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), although the appointment still faces confirmation from Congress.
According to news from The American Banker, the vote was 24 to 1, with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, the only one to vote against Trump’s pick. The panel also signed off on the nomination of Marvin Goodfriend, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, to a Federal Reserve Board position. His nomination was approved with no support from Democrats, however. Additionally, Thomas Workman, former president of the Life Insurance Council of New York, was granted a seat in the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which is usually held for someone who has experience with insurance.
Previously, McWilliams was a Senate Banking Committee aide to Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama. Prior to that, she served as an attorney for the Federal Reserve Board. Senator Sherrod Brown, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, hoped McWilliams would not “deviate from a path that has served our economy well. McWilliams has a deep background in banking. I hope she’ll follow the example of her predecessors,” he said.
However, Brown said he can’t support the nomination of Goodfriend, noting the candidate tried to moderate his previously held views about the Federal Reserve. The report stated Goodfriend’s confirmation is not a slam dunk, given Republicans only have a one-vote majority in the Senate.
News reports on Thursday (Feb. 8) revealed that Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, plans to oppose his nomination, while Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, has been absent from all Senate votes because of his health.
“I can’t brush aside comments and concerns about Dr. Goodfriend’s long-held and often-repeated views,” said Brown. “While at the hearing, he paid lip service to Fed independence and its mandate to fight unemployment; it ultimately rang hollow, given his years advocating the opposite, especially in regards to the dual mandate ... We can’t take a chance on someone with a decade-long record prioritizing hypothetical inflation over real people losing real jobs.”