When David J. Ryder’s nomination to become the 39th director of the
United States Mint failed to go before the full Senate for a
confirmation vote in 2017, the nomination, along with more than 100
other presidential nominees, was returned to the White House to begin
the process anew.
Ryder was nominated initially by President Trump
on Oct. 2, with the nomination referred three days later to the Senate
Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Ryder’s nomination
hearing before the committee was held Oct. 24 and favorably reported
out of committee on Nov. 1. The nomination was placed on the Senate’s
executive calendar but never came up for a full vote.
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When the Senate session ended without the nomination being either
confirmed or rejected, according to the Senate’s rules the nomination
had to be returned to the president. It was returned to President
Trump on Jan. 3 and the president renominated Ryder on Jan. 8. The
nomination was again referred to the Senate Committee on Banking,
Housing and Urban Affairs. It is not known whether Ryder will be
required to face a second hearing before the committee before his
nomination can progress to a vote.
Ryder’s nomination hit a snag when Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., placed a
hold on the nomination Dec. 20 amid the debate on the Republican tax
cuts legislation. The hold was soon lifted. However, Sen. Chuck
Grassley, R-Iowa, subsequently announced his intention to object to
Ryder’s nomination and the nomination of another Treasury Department
nominee, Isabel Marie Keenan Patelunas, of Pennsylvania, to be
assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis, but for reasons
totally unrelated to their qualifications for the positions to which
they were nominated.
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Grassley’s objections were placed because the Treasury Department
had failed to respond to his inquiry concerning a completely unrelated
matter, addressed to another bureau within the Treasury Department,
seeking documents relevant to an ongoing investigation by the Senate
Committee on the Judiciary, on which Grassley serves.
Grassley’s inquiry, however, had been addressed to a position that
is vacant because an undersecretary nominated for that office is also
not yet approved.
If Ryder receives confirmation from the full Senate, his term as the
Mint’s chief executive would be for five years. It would be Ryder’s
second stint as Mint director, as he served 14 months via a recess
appointment during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.