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Brown is promising to move as quickly as possible to advance the nomination of Christy Goldsmith Romero to be the next FDIC chair.

Sherrod Brown vows fast action on FDIC nominee

The chair of the Senate Banking Committee is promising to move as quickly as possible to advance the nomination of Christy Goldsmith Romero to be the next chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“As fast as we can make it happen,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Tuesday. “I’ve started talking to Republicans on the committee about it,” Brown said.

Brown declined to specify when his committee would move on Goldsmith Romero and other nominees put forward by the White House earlier this month.

But speed is top of mind for the Ohio Democrat, who called for current FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg to step aside in May following an independent report documenting the agency’s toxic workplace culture.

A tough sell for some: Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), a Senate Banking Republican and close ally of former President Donald Trump, blasted Goldsmith Romero in an interview, claiming she lacked crucial banking experience.

Hagerty said he was “shocked the Biden administration would put forward somebody with no banking experience and no managerial experience at a time when we need to get this agency back on track.”

Goldsmith Romero is currently a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She previously led the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which scrutinized banks’ use of a billion-dollar program designed to stabilize the sector in the years following the 2008 financial crisis.

White House spokesperson Sam Michel pushed back on Hagerty in a statement, saying Goldsmith Romero was “highly qualified” and a “proven tough reformer with over 20 years of experience as a respected administrator, manager and financial regulator.”

Crunchtime: As we’ve written elsewhere, the Senate’s calendar is getting awfully tight. The nomination – along with the FDIC – will languish if Goldsmith Romero isn’t confirmed before the August recess. Brown and his fellow Senate Democrats will need to contend with two separate week-long breaks in July.

If a personnel hearing isn’t scheduled for the second week of July, it will be all but impossible to clear the nominations by the end of the month.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will also play a key role here. Assuming Goldsmith Romero advances through the Senate Banking Committee – and we think she will – Schumer will need to give up some floor time. It’ll take more floor time than usual if Republicans decide to block speedy consideration on the nomination, as they have with other lower-profile roles.

Brown said he’s discussed the nominations with Schumer. “We’ve been talking to Schumer to move this as quickly as we can, yes,” Brown said, adding: “He wants to move on it. He knows how important this is.”

Brown did caution, however, that Schumer hasn’t committed to giving Goldsmith Romero floor time “because he can’t. I mean, too many things come up.”

– Brendan Pedersen

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