Liberal groups have grown concerned that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will squander his power to recommend Democratic nominees for financial regulatory commissions by sending up milquetoast, industry-friendly functionaries, instead of stalwarts opposed to loosening rules on big banks.
At issue are two Democratic seats open on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and one on the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last month, over 30 labor, progressive, and consumer groups urged Schumer to select nominees with a “demonstrated willingness to stand up to Wall Street.”
But Schumer, D-N.Y., has been slow to act on the SEC vacancy. For the FDIC, he’s close to re-appointing former Chair Martin Gruenberg, fresh off his role in shepherding through a major weakening of the so-called Volcker rule, a Dodd-Frank provision barring deposit-taking institutions from risky trading with customer funds. Gruenberg was the only Democratic bank regulator to vote for the deregulation proposal, and Schumer subsequently rewarding him with a re-appointment would be taken as disappointing signal.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said that Schumer is taking the pressure from progressive groups seriously when it comes to naming commissioners. “They make critical decisions that affect communities like the one I live in, in the central ward in Newark, and it’s something that I’m really concerned with on a whole raft of issues, from access to capital to fair-lending practices,” he said. “You’re seeing a whole bunch of things really affecting the average working American, and I think Schumer’s conscious of those things, and that’s why he’s spent so much time talking to progressive groups.”
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Source: The Intercept_