Washington - President Donald Trump reappointed David Skeel and Arthur Gonzalez to the Fiscal Oversight Board
Sources close to the White House anticipated this to El Nuevo Día and the information was later confirmed by the Board in a written statement welcoming the appointments that complete “the appointment process for all
seven members of the Oversight Board for a three-year term”.
The decision to reappoint Skeel was made after the Georgia runoffs, where Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate.
As the next Senate Democratic majority leader, Charles Schumer (New York), could have recommended the candidate to replace Skeel, who was again suggested as a member of the Board by the current Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell.
González was recommended for a new term on the Board by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Had Schumer been able to select a replacement for Skeel, whose appointment expired in August 2019, Democrats would have recommended four of the seven members of the Board overseeing Puerto Rico’s public finances.
The appointments were announced amid the chaos and violence caused by Trump’s supporters who forced their way into the U.S. Congress, as the Senate and House convened to certify the electoral college results confirming Joe Biden’s November 3 victory.
Skeel is the current chairperson of the Board. He was recommended in August 2016 by McConnell. Although he was again included as the Republican Senator’s candidate, the White House had held up his nomination.
González, a former bankruptcy judge, was appointed directly in August 2016 by former President Barack Obama.
Although he was on Pelosi’s list of recommendations, González had to leave the Board for several months after President Trump chose the managing partner of the public relations and lobbying firm DCI Group, Justin Peterson, who until the summer of 2018 represented the island’s creditors.
With these two appointments, the Board is now completed with its seven members at a time when the entity has to consider Puerto Rico´s debt adjustment plan, which must be presented to Judge Laura Taylor Swain no later than February 10.
Skeel and Peterson join the list of other Board members recommended by Congress Republicans. That list includes Andrew Biggs, recommended for a second term by Senator McConnell, and John Nixon, proposed by House Republican minority leader, Kevin McCarthy.
At the request of Democrats, Trump approved a new three-year term to former Judge González, and appointed former Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (Pridco) director Antonio Medina - recommended by Pelosi - and New York’s interim Education Commissioner, Betty Rosa, recommended by Schumer.