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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-President George W. Bush may be closer to selecting a nominee for the open seat on the NCUA Board, knowledgeable sources have said. “There has been an increasing level of speculation that the White House has made a decision on who to appoint to the vacant seat, and with Congress preparing to go into a two-week spring recess there is also rumor of a possible recess appointment,” NAFCU General Counsel Bill Donovan stated. Others, who declined to be named made similar speculation, though possible names were not forthcoming. One name that fairly recently surfaced as a potential board appointee is attorney and former North Carolina State Senator Patrick Ballantine (R), North Carolina league President John Radebaugh previously confirmed. According to former NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar about a month ago, a number of other names were on the table as well, some that have come up before and some new ones. He would not specify. The White House press office would not comment on whether an appointment was imminent or not. The NCUA Board has had some of the briefest agendas for its monthly board meetings in its history. Last week’s had just one item, a noncontroversial, technical change. Right now it is futile to bring up regulations without agreement from both board members, the chairman a Republican and the other a Democrat, because either can block an item from passing. A majority of the NCUA Board-in other words two-must approve the changes. It is possible a Republican could be made a recess appointee. With NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz’ term ending in August, the Republican could likely be appointed to her seat, which would have a fresh six-year term. Meanwhile Dollar’s seat, which is down to four years left on the term, would be given to a Democrat; at least one board member must be from the opposite party of the president. The Dollar seat has been vacant for nearly a year. History has shown that presenting nominees from both political parties to the Senate for confirmation can grease the squeaky wheels of the legislative system. Previously, NCUA Board Member Yolanda Wheat and Dollar were confirmed together, as were NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and Debbie Matz. Therefore, the president might see an advantage to waiting on a full appointment for a Republican candidate to pair it with a Democrat. [email protected]

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