Senate approves Treasury security, TARP nominees

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 01, 2011 12:24 PM
Senate approves Treasury security, TARP nominees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate has confirmed the Treasury Department's top national security officials, the head of its bailout programs and its top spokesperson, easing a backlog of Obama administration nominees delayed by political wrangling.

The Senate voted late on Thursday to confirm David Cohen as undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, and Daniel Glaser as assistant secretary for terrorist financing.

It also approved the nominations of Timothy Massad as assistant secretary for financial stability and Jenni LeCompte as assistant secretary for public affairs.

Cohen has been serving in an acting role leading the Treasury's efforts aimed at identifying and disrupting financial support to terrorist organizations, weapons proliferators, drug traffickers and those engaged in other illicit activities that pose a threat to U.S. national security.

He had previously served as the No. 2 official in that capacity, under long-time terrorist financing chief Stuart Levey, who stepped down in February.

"David has played a central role in shaping the design of the very powerful sanctions regime that is denying terrorists and proliferators the ability to use the financial system to further their malicious aims," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

Massad is responsible for overseeing the wind-down of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion government bailout fund for banks, automakers and insurers that was created during the financial crisis.

A former corporate lawyer, Massad joined the Treasury in May 2009 as chief counsel for the Office of Financial Stability created by bailout legislation.

Thus far the Treasury has recovered about 75 percent of the $410 billion that it disbursed under TARP. The Treasury still has substantial equity stakes in General Motors Co and insurer American International Group to sell off and smaller banks still hold billions of dollars in taxpayer capital.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)