WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee advanced the full slate of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. nominees to the full Senate, putting the agency one step closer to a full board. 

The Senate voted 13-11 to approve the nomination of acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg to be the agency’s permanent head. The two Republican nominees — Travis Hill as vice chair of the FDIC and Jonathan McKernan  as a member of the board of directors —  were confirmed by voice vote. 

At the panel’s confirmation for the group of nominees, Republicans criticized Gruenberg for his role in the events that led to former Chairman Jelena McWilliams’s departure last winter and questioned him on the banking agency’s role in protecting the financial system from climate risk. 

Gruenberg Hill McKernan
Martin Gruenberg, acting chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., had his nomination to lead the agency advance from the Senate Banking Committee by a 13-11 vote Tuesday. Fellow FDIC board nominees Travis Hill and Jonathan McKernan were advanced on a voice vote.

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg

“The Senate has confirmed Mr. Gruenberg unanimously five times,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Tuesday at the executive session when the panel voted. “Despite the unfair and — frankly — factually dubious attacks, Mr. Gruenberg endured at his nomination hearing, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be unanimously confirmed once again.” 

The nominations will go to the full Senate, where they are expected to garner enough votes to be confirmed. 

The three nominees, if confirmed, would give the agency a full board, a feat for the Biden administration, which has struggled to get Senate-approved picks into financial policy positions. The FDIC hasn’t had a bipartisan board, which would be filled by the heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in addition to the slate of nominees, since the departure of McWilliams in February. 

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