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Senate Panel OKs Bush’s Choice for Thrift Chief

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The Senate Banking Committee Friday narrowly endorsed President Bush’s nominee as the top savings and loan regulator.

The panel voted 11 to 10 to recommend T. Timothy Ryan Jr. to be director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Thrift Supervision. The matter now goes to the full Senate.

Two Democrats joined all nine Republicans on the panel in backing Ryan. The vote came after Democrats spent 90 minutes complaining that Ryan, a former senior Labor Department official, lacked experience for the job.

Sen. Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (D-Mich.) said Ryan’s qualifications were “woefully short of the quality necessary to do this job.” Riegle had said earlier the panel probably would vote against Ryan’s nomination.

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