President Biden official forwards the CFTC nominations to Senate

President Biden official forwards the CFTC nominations to Senate


The White House has made an official submission of US President Joe Biden’s nominations for filling seats at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as another commissioner is scheduled for departure from the office.


The announcement had been made on January 7 with the White House saying it had sent Managing Director of Citi, Caroline Pham’s and Summer Mersinger’s names for confirmation to the Senate. 


Among the two, Mersinger had previously served as chief of staff to Dawn Stump, the commissioner who is expected to leave the agency in 2022. In addition, Mersinger also held the office of the Director at the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. She and Pham are expected to be taking the places of recently departed Commissioner, Dan Berkovitz, his term expiring in April 2023, and that of Stump, in April 2027, respectively.


The CFTC nominations have come the same week as the White House had officially announced sending the nominations of Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard to the Senate for awaiting confirmation before serving as the next chair and vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, respectively. 


Confirmation from the Senate would empower Powell and Brainard to become the top two leaders of the Federal until the year 2026. 


President Biden has also reported to have submitted Christy Goldsmith Romero’s and Kristin Johnson’s names for the remainder of the empty CFTC seats the same week.


As the nominations for four CFTC commissioners have been submitted, subject to confirmation from USA’s lawmakers, there are no longer any vacancies at the agency in 2022 following the leadership shakeup. Berkovitz had announced in September that he was planning to leave the CFTC on October 15 so that he could join the Securities and Exchange Commission as general counsel, while the Senate confirmed the nomination of Rostin Behnam to chair the CFTC in December 2021.


Presently, the Democratic party under President Joe Biden has been controlling 50 of the 100 seats in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris being the tiebreaker if required. A simple majority vote, however, is needed to confirm the president’s CFTC picks.


While the White House has forwarded four names for CFTC commissioners, it is yet to officially name candidates who would fill upcoming vacancies at the Federal Reserve. Board member Randal Quarles had resigned his position effective from December 2021, while the current Vice-Chair Richard Clarida is being expected to leave by February 2022.


 A report on January 5 from the Washington Post had suggested the US President has been considering Duke University’s Law Professor Sarah Bloom Raskin to join the group of seven governors who are serving at the Federal. The other two being economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson.


It is estimated that there might also be an opportunity for Biden to shake up the leadership at another government agency that is responsible for digital asset regulation in the US, namely, the Securities and Exchange Commission. 


SEC’s Commissioner, Elad Roisman, is slated to leave the agency by the end of January, and Commissioner Allison Lee’s term is expiring in June. Some experts have pointed that placing different financial experts across these three significant US government agencies would result in an impact on crypto-related policies in the country.

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