WASHINGTON – The Senate late Thursday confirmed the top two senior officials to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. following months of uncertainty.

Lawmakers approved the nominations of Martin Gruenberg to be FDIC chairman and former Kansas City Federal Reserve chief Thomas Hoenig to be the FDIC's vice chairman.

Their positions had been in limbo for several months with the effects of partisan politics in Washington slowing down several appointments by the Obama administration. In April, Republican senators signed off on a plan to give Gruenberg and Hoenig six-year terms on the FDIC board, but withheld support for their leadership positions. With the presidential election looming, GOP lawmakers were reluctant to confirm Gruenberg and preclude Republican Mitt Romney from appointing his own FDIC head had he won the White House. But the issue became moot with President Obama's reelection.

Gruenberg, who was vice chairman under former FDIC chief Sheila Bair and has run the agency on an acting basis since Bair left last year, said in a statement that he was "deeply appreciative of the Senate's action" to confirm him and Hoenig.

"The FDIC's mission of maintaining public confidence in the financial system has never been more important," Gruenberg said. "I am also grateful to the hard working employees of the FDIC for the outstanding job that they do. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead this great public institution."

Hoenig said he is "honored to serve as the vice chairman of the FDIC at such a pivotal time for our country's banking system."

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