March 13, 2014


WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, today delivered the following remarks during a Banking Committee hearing to consider several nominations to the Federal Reserve Board, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Credit Union Administration Board.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I join in your introductory comments on housing finance reform, and I particularly appreciate the relationship we have and the opportunity we have had to work on this together.  Thank you to our colleagues, Bob Corker and Mark Warner, and those who have worked with them to lay the foundation for this effort.  Frankly, each member of this Committee has been very involved with this and that should be acknowledged as we move forward.  I also welcome each of our nominees today.  At today’s hearing we will hear from nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Credit Union Administration Board.
During Dr. Yellen’s nomination hearing to chair the Federal Reserve, I noted the turnover at the Board caused by the departures of Chairman Bernanke and Governors Raskin and Duke.  I emphasized then that their replacements must bring balanced views about the direction of monetary and regulatory policy.
The nominees before us come from academia, policymaking and finance, at both the international and domestic levels.  Dr. Stanley Fischer is a noted economist, most recently serving as head of the Bank of Israel.  Lael Brainard and Jay Powell have both previously been confirmed by the Senate.  Dr. Brainard served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, and Jay Powell has served on the Fed Board of Governors since May 2012.  I look forward to learning more about these nominees’ positions on the normalization of monetary policy, and the continued implementation of Dodd-Frank.
In addition to the seats they would fill, there will be one remaining opening at the Board.  I am hopeful that community bank experience will be a priority in establishing the qualifications to fill that last position.
Today we will also consider nominations to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Credit unions play an important role in our financial system and are leaders in relationship-based lending in our communities.  I look forward to hearing from Mr. McWatters about his priorities at NCUA, and the opportunities and challenges facing the credit union industry.
Mr. Velasquez brings experience in economic development and housing policy, having worked in the D.C. government as Director of the District of Columbia’s Office of Latino Affairs.  HUD’s use of the disparate impact theory, which can bring enforcement actions for discrimination even without any direct discriminatory intent, has increased in recent years and remains a concern of mine.  
It is important that each of the nominees here today understands the impact of their decisions on the broader economy.  I look forward to the thoughts of the nominees on how we can properly balance these rules with the need to keep our markets competitive in the global economy. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this important hearing.