President Donald Trump appointed three people to three-year terms on the Puerto Rico Oversight Board Tuesday.
The president named former Utah and Michigan budget director John Nixon and New York educator Betty Rosa. Rosa is Interim Commissioner of Education and President of University of State of New York. Her career has been as a teacher and education administrator.
Additionally, Trump reappointed pension specialist Andrew Biggs to the board.
According to El Nuevo Día news website, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., nominated Nixon to Trump, who made the appointment. McCarthy’s nomination of Nixon apparently means that Ana Matosantos has been displaced from the board, at least temporarily. Puerto Rico commentator Cate Long said that then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., nominated Matosantos in 2016.
In her current role as House Speaker, Pelosi has two nominating slots to the board. Following the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, Pelosi could nominate three people and this fall she may have nominated Matosantos to one of the slots. It is unclear who Pelosi chose.
Trump has yet to act on her nominations.
Matosantos has been one of the most aggressive board members in trying to reduce bondholder payouts. Puerto Rico attorney John Mudd said he thought Matosantos was gone from the board.
Today’s announcement raises a question about the reappointment of Chairman David Skeel to the board. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., nominated Biggs and Skeel for Obama’s approval in 2016. The fact that Trump has only announced Biggs is returning raises a question about what Trump plans to do about McConnell’s second pick.
Some sources say that McConnell has recommended Skeel to the board. But under PROMESA, this recommendation would have to be one of three for the slot. Trump may be inclined to pick one of the other two people.
Concerning today’s development, Mudd tweeted about Skeel, “Obviously President Trump does not want him.”
According to El Nuevo Día, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., nominated Rosa to the board.