WASHINGTON Election-year politics continues to tie up Senate confirmation of several Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. nominees.
Still awaiting approval are Donna Tanoue, whose term as FDIC chairman expired Oct. 3, as well as nominees to fill the two open Republican seats on the board. They are Arizona Banking Commissioner Richard C. Houseworth and John M. Reich, a former Florida banker and chief of staff for Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla.
The possibility of appointments is very doubtful, said Neil Milner, president of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm has endorsed Mr. Houseworth, but has not yet given his official blessing to Mr. Reich. However, congressional sources said that he has no objection to allowing the full Senate to confirm both.
Mr. Reich has the best chance of the three this year because senators might approve him as a courtesy to Sen. Mack, who is not running for reelection, Mr. Milner said. But I think it is extremely difficult for Houseworth, and Ive told him that.
Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, have hinted that they would try to block Mr. Houseworths and Mr. Reichs nominations unless Ms. Tanoue moves ahead, too.
There is speculation that Sen. Inouye of Hawaii, the state where Chairman Tanoue hails from, may be prepared to derail any other FDIC board nominations if her status is not clarified, an industry lobbyist said on condition of anonymity.
But Sen. Gramm objects to reconfirming Ms. Tanoue before the election.
The next president should have the right and authority to appoint his own nominees, Sen. Gramms spokeswoman said Wednesday.