2013 Watch: NCUA Board in the Year Ahead
The NCUA Board will experience significant turnover in 2013 when President Obama is expected to appoint candidates to fill two out of three spots left vacant by Gigi Hyland, who resigned in October 2012, and Michael Fryzel, whose term ends Aug. 2, 2013.
Because the NCUA board must not have more than two members from the same political party, Obama will have to appoint both a Democrat and a Republican, as Chairman Debbie Matz is a Democrat.
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Most industry experts say Obama will likely wait until Fryzel’s appointment ends before appointing Hyland’s replacement, so he can present the Senate with both Democrat and Republican nominees, which should make the confirmation process smoother.
Because Hyland’s term ended Aug. 2, 2011, her replacement will not serve a full six years, but rather, just four once the seat is filled in 2013. Most industry veterans say that means Obama is likely to nominate a Republican to fill Hyland’s seat, and save the Democrat nomination for Fryzel’s replacement, because he or she would serve a full six-year term that would overlap three years into the next president’s administration.
That leaves just Matz and Republican Fryzel to reach unanimous agreement on all new board proposals for the next nine months. In the past, the two have voted in sync, with Hyland casting the opposing vote. However, in the months leading up to the election, Fryzel has voiced opposition to some of Matz’s proposals. It is uncertain whether Fryzel was positioning himself for a possible chair position should Mitt Romney have won, or if he truly opposes the measures, which include a controversial rule that gives the NCUA more authority over CUSOs.
Very few names have been mentioned as being considered by the White House to fill the posts. Former NCUA Board Member and Democrat Geoff Bacino is one potential candidate. Other names, like former BECU CEO Gary Oakland and former CUNA CEO and Democrat Dan Mica were floated in 2011 when Hyland’s term expired, but they have not been mentioned much this year. Capitol Hill veterans say Obama may select a wild card for the Democratic post, like somebody who helped him win re-election by successfully campaigning or fundraising in a swing state.