WASHINGTON — The Trump administration's choice to become chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has asked the White House to withdraw his nomination.
James Clinger cited "family-related obligations" in a statement released Wednesday. The administration had chosen the former congressional aide to succeed Martin Gruenberg as head of the agency.
"I am deeply grateful to President Trump for nominating me to chair the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It is therefore with a sense of regret that I have asked the White House to withdraw my nomination," he said in the statement, which was released by an attorney at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
"I did so after concluding that the family-related obligations that prompted me to leave government service earlier this year — which have grown more challenging in the interim — are incompatible with the demands of leading an important federal agency like the FDIC."
A White House spokesperson confirmed that Clinger had asked to withdraw his name.
The announcement is a potential blow to the Trump regulatory agenda. The administration has made progress naming new principals at key agencies that have supported regulatory relief proposals, but it was not immediately clear if another candidate was under consideration to lead the FDIC.
Clinger is a well-respected longtime former Capitol Hill staffer, having served under four House Financial Services Committee chairmen. He was most recently chief counsel for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
“Jim is a public servant at heart, proven by his 22 years of government service, but his family will always come first,” said Travis Norton, a policy adviser and counsel at Brownstein Hyatt. “Jim was eager to continue his service and was honored by the president’s nomination to chair the FDIC, where the full range of his financial services policy acumen and talent as a manager would have greatly benefited the agency and the regulated community.”
In a brief interview Wednesday, Hensarling called the news "unfortunate," but said he understood that Clinger "has a family situation he has to deal with."
"He would have made a great FDIC chair, but he is not the only person who can be a great FDIC chair, so we will see where it goes from there," Hensarling said.