US Coins

Jeppson nomination as Mint director stalls

A confirmation vote for Matthew Rhett Jeppson's nomination as U.S. Mint director was suspended before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs after several committee members objected to the nominations of two individuals to the SEC.

Color image screen capture from Senate Banking hearing; background image by Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes.

Principal Deputy U.S. Mint Director Matthew Rhett Jeppson will have to wait a little longer to find out if his nomination to become the 39th director of the nation's coin bureau gets approved.

A scheduled April 7 vote by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Jeppson's nomination and that of four others to presidentially appointed posts was suspended by the committee's chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., after committee Democrats voiced their opposition to the nominations of Lisa M. Fairfax and Hester Maria Peirce to become members of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shelby had called for a single vote on all five nominations, and while the other three nominees, including Jeppson, received Democratic support, Fairfax and Peirce did not. The opposition stems from Fairfax's and Peirce's reluctance to push for new disclosure requirements for corporate political spending.

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Both SEC nominees were extensively grilled during a March 15 nomination hearing at which Jeppson received only two minor questions from Senate committee members.

No announcement has been made for when another vote on the nominations will be taken. Had Jeppson's nomination been favorably voted out of committee, the nomination would have gone before the full Senate seeking confirmation to a full five-year term.

If Jeppson does received confirmation, whether he will get to serve a full term will depend strongly on who's in the White House come Jan. 21. The incoming president, even if of the same political party as the nominee, may decide to fill the post with a different nominee.

Jeppson is President Obama's second nominee for Mint director. Former Ford Motor Co. executive Bibiana Boerio's 2012 nomination never made it to the Senate hearing stage.

The Mint director's position has been vacant since Edmund C. Moy resigned in January 2011 to enter the private sector.

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