WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee has set a Jan.23 date to examine the nominations of Jelena McWilliams to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Marvin Goodfriend to be a governor on the Federal Reserve Board, according to people familiar with the matter.

McWilliams was chief counsel at the Senate Banking Committee under former chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and is currently chief legal officer at Fifth Third Bank. She is also a former Fed lawyer. Industry insiders who know her have praised her as the pick to succeed Chairman Martin Gruenberg, whose term expired in November but who has continued to serve at the FDIC.

Fifth Third Bank Chief Legal Officer Jelena McWilliams
Industry insiders have praised Jelena McWilliams as nominee to chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Goodfriend, an economist and former Richmond Federal Reserve Bank official, was tapped by Trump in November to fill one of three empty Fed governor seats. The term expires Jan. 31, 2030. Goodfriend has been the Friends of Allan Meltzer Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business since 2005 and is a sometime critic of the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy since the crisis.

Goodfriend has said that the Federal Open Market Committee should present its independent monetary policy decisions “against a familiar Taylor-type reference rule for monetary policy,” referring to a rules-based monetary policy favored by fiscal hawks.

Nominations under the Trump administration have been slower than in previous administrations and Democrats may continue to slow the process as Senate rules allow for 30 hours of debate. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has suggested that Republicans may look to change Senate rules to expedite nominations.

Trump has also nominated the top position at the Fed and won Senate confirmation of a new comptroller. McWilliams would represent another significant shift in the tone of bank regulation. The industry is also waiting for a nominee to fill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director seat, a position that is currently being held by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

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