The going assumption was that Hoenig would have a relatively easy time getting past the Senate. The Hoenig pick would also make things easier for Martin Gruenberg, the Democrat whom Obama nominated to be the next FDIC chairman, and Thomas Curry, whom Obama appointed to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — i.e. the country’s primary bank regulator. Industry players agree that there’s significant bipartisan consensus when it comes to the trio. “One can stand in the shoes of the Senate and say that we’ve worked with the administration to come up with three candidates who are all being positively viewed … with expectation that those were going to proceed in due course,” says Rich Riese, senior vice president of Regulatory Compliance at the American Bankers Association.
McConnell said last month that they’d refuse to let these other three appointments go through unless Obama promised to disavow making a recess appointment of Cordray. Now that it’s come to pass, it’s unclear what will happen if the Senate proceeds with confirming the other nominees. In fact, as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Board, Cordray is also a member of the FDIC board. “With this appointment, the President has also altered the composition of the board of the FDIC, potentially undermining its official acts,” Frank Keating, ABA’s president and CEO, said in a statement criticizing the recess appointment. So despite their warm embrace of Hoenig, Republicans may be still be unwilling to proceed with Obama’s FDIC nominations — though if a Senate vote came up, it’s unclear whether they’d actually go so far as to filibuster them.