Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing on nominations of Hood and Harper to the NCUA Board
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Today the Senate Banking Committee held a confirmation hearing on the nominations of Rodney Hood and Todd Harper to the NCUA Board. Also on the panel were Mark Calabria for the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Bimel Patel for Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Institutions.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the hearing.
- The focus of the hearing was Calabria. The NCUA nominees only got four questions during the 2-hour session.
- Chairman Crapo asked the NCUA nominees at the outset for their views on NCUA expense policy in light of the recent Washington Post article. Both nominees said they would make reviewing those policies a priority if confirmed. It was not mentioned at any other point during the session.
- Another interesting moment came when Senator Cortez-Masto asked the nominees about their specific views on the NCUA rulemaking concerning appraisals for commercial real estate loans. Masto noted that bank regulators had set a $500K loan amount that would trigger a mandatory appraisal, while NCUA has not established a $1 million threshold. Hood said he would review the issue fully if confirmed; Harper expressed reservations about the level being inconsistent with bank regulations, and signaled that he was not supportive of the NCUA policy.
- After the hearing Crapo staff told me that a vote on all of today’s nominees was planned for February 26, although this is not public yet. A unanimous vote for the NCUA nominees is very possible.
- Once the Committee passes them, their nominations head to the full Senate. Majority Leader McConnell has the option to place non-controversial nominations on the Consent Calendar, which would allow them to be brought up for a vote at any time, would not need a cloture vote, and would enable them to be voice voted.
- This is a likely, but not definite scenario, meaning that Hood and Harper could be seated on the NCUA Board as early as March.