Following Washington Post Investigation, McWatters’ Anticipated CFPB Nomination May Be in Jeopardy

May 15, 2018 | News

For weeks, J. Mark McWatters, currently heading the National Credit Union Administration, has been rumored to be President Trump’s pick to permanently lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Last week, however, McWatters found himself the subject of a Washington Post investigation that found McWatters rarely spent time in the NCUA’s Alexandria, VA headquarters, instead telecommuting from his home in Dallas. American Banker is reporting that as a result of the Post story, McWatters’ nomination may be in trouble before it’s even made official.

The Post reported that government watchdog groups said they could not recall another agency chief routinely working so far from his designated office. The Post investigation also found that McWatters had spent nearly $22,000 on furniture for his office at the Alexandria headquarters, in addition to limousine services and other expenditures.

In early 2017, President Trump named McWatters acting chairman of the NCUA, and he was formally appointed in June.

Given that a permanent replacement must be nominated by June 22 under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to temporarily keep acting Director Mick Mulvaney atop the agency as the nomination works its way through Congress, the White House will have to determine whether or not this is a dealbreaker for their anticipated choice. Moreover, they’ll have to ascertain whether the choice of McWatters is worth the headaches that will come with potential further stories about his spending, as they’ve experienced with other officials.

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