President Trump is poaching from House Republicans for his top bank regulator.
The White House announced Friday evening that Trump intends to nominate James Clinger, counsel of the House Financial Services Committee, to chair the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the agency tasked with insuring banks' deposits and protecting them in the case of a bank failure.
Clinger would first be nominated to be a member of the FDIC, and then to replace current chairman, Martin Gruenberg, when his five-year term runs out in November.
As chair of the FDIC, Clinger would be responsible for regulating banks to prevent failures that could result in taxpayers having to ensure that depositors did not lose insured money. The agency also takes over banks that do fail, speedily reorganizing them to make sure that depositors have access to their cash. In the case of a megabank failure, the FDIC, under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, would take the lead if the government chose to step in and take over the firm to prevent a panic.
Clinger has served as the general counsel to the Financial Services Committee since 2007, and before that was the acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Department of Justice. Previously, he had worked as a staffer on what was then called the House Banking Committee, starting in 1995.
As counsel to the committee, Clinger has worked for Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the fiscally conservative Texan who this month passed legislation in the House of Representatives that would dramatically scale back the post-crisis banking rules and replace them with a more free-market approach to overseeing finance.
Clinger has both a BA and a law degree from the University of Virginia.