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WASHINGTON-President George W. Bush announced his intent to nominate Wayne Abernathy, the Senate Banking Committee’s minority staff director, to the position of Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Treasury Department filling the position Sheila Bair left earlier this summer. Abernathy is a long-time aide to Senator Phil Gramm. He has served at the Senate Banking Committee since 1981. Currently, he is the Republican staff director, but from 1999 to 2001 he was the committee staff director. Other jobs have included staff director for the Subcommittee on Securities, and Economist to both the committee and to the Subcommittee on International Finance and Monetary Policy. Abernathy earned a BA from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies there. “Both I, and NAFCU, have had the opportunity to work with Wayne on a variety of issues over the years,” NAFCU Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bill Donovan commented. He added that Abernathy was a “fine selection” and very accessible and knowledgeable. “He’s a very fair person; he’s open, accessible,” CUNA Vice President and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn remarked. “One thing is he’ll always let you know where he stands on something, so he doesn’t leave you guessing.” A recent article in the American Banker pointed out that the move would bring a conservative slant to the position, as opposed to Bair’s lean toward consumer advocacy.

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