Three months and still no hearing.
That has been the fate so far of Carla Decker, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Gigi Hyland on the NCUA Board.
A Senate Banking Committee spokesman did not respond to an inquiry on when or whether the panel will hold a hearing on Decker, the president/CEO of District Government Employees FCU.
Several industry sources said Decker, who Obama nominated on Oct. 20, might get a hearing if Obama nominates other people to financial regulatory agencies.
Hyland, whose term expired last year, can serve until a successor is sworn in. Should she decide to leave the board before then, and she hasn’t made any comments about her plans, the board can still function. It can make decisions as long as the two remaining members, Chairman Debbie Matz and Board Member Michael Fryzel, vote the same way on an issue.
Matz has had experience with a two-member board. She and then-chairman JoAnn Johnson were the only members of the board for an eight-month period in 2004 and 2005.
“Yes, the board can do business with two members, but it can be tricky,” said former NCUA board member Geoff Bacino. “Although the chairman is in charge, the other member has a great deal of power and can really thwart any action.”
Even if Decker gets a hearing, there is no guarantee that Senate Republicans will allow a vote.
The confirmation process often moves at a snail’s pace during the fourth year of a president’s term. Senators of the other party slow down the movement of nominees in the hopes that their party will win the control of the White House.
Also, Senate Republicans have expressed anger that Obama used a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Obama said he had to circumvent those Republicans who vowed to block any nomination to the post. Senate Republicans had said they want Obama and Senate Democrats to agree to structural changes to the CFPB along the lines of those passed by the House last year.
So far, three nominees to financial regulatory agencies, who have already been approved by the Senate Banking Committee, have not been given votes by the full Senate because of GOP procedural moves.
Those nominees are Martin Gruenberg, whom Obama nominated to chair the FDIC; Thomas Hoenig, Obama’s choice for FDIC vice chairman; and Thomas Curry, who was nominated to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said he doubts his party will uniformly oppose all persons appointed by Obama.
“I don’t think you’re going to see carte blanche reprisal [against the Cordray appointment],” he said at a news conference on Jan. 24.
Decker’s nomination stalled after Credit Union Times reported the contents of an NCUA examination that showed management problems at her credit union.