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White House to nominate Goldsmith Romero soon, aiming for July hearing – source

FILE PHOTO: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp logo is seen at the FDIC headquarters in Washington

By Chris Prentice

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The White House will nominate markets regulator Christy Goldsmith Romero as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chair imminently as it targets the week of July 8 for her first hearing, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Goldsmith Romero, a Democratic commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will replace Martin Gruenberg who is stepping down after a damning probe found widespread sexual harassment and other misconduct at the top banking regulator.

The White House is rushing to fill the role so it can push through U.S. President Joe Biden’s regulatory agenda, including major bank capital hikes, just six months ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

While administration officials have said they want to move fast, the White House and Democratic Senate Banking Committee chair Sherrod Brown, who is responsible for advancing FDIC nominees, have not said when they expect to hold hearings.

Kristin Johnson, the CFTC’s other Democratic commissioner who was also in the running for the FDIC chair role, will be nominated for Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Treasury Department at the same time, the same source said.

The White House declined comment. Spokespeople for Brown, Treasury and the FDIC did not immediately respond to a request for comment out of business hours. A spokesperson for the CFTC declined to comment.

The hearing for Johnson will take place alongside Goldsmith Romero’s, the source said. She had been lined up for the Treasury role before Gruenberg succumbed last month to political pressure to resign.

Also a Democrat, Gruenberg is staying on until the Senate has confirmed the new chair, which would allow Democrats to retain control of the agency until at least January next year.

With the election looming, though, time is tight. The Senate is in session just half of July and out August through Labor Day on September 2. That leaves two months before the November general election when Senators who are up for re-election prefer to be campaigning at home rather than tied up in Washington.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that a formal announcement could come this week. Punchbowl News earlier on Wednesday reported that the White House would announce Romero’s nomination on Thursday.

(Writing by Michelle Price; additional reporting by Douglas Gillison and Pete Schroeder and Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Megan Davies)

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