The Senate narrowly approved President Joe Biden’s pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday, giving the bureau a director who is likely to embrace an aggressive “watchdog” role, similar to how the agency operated under former President Barack Obama.
Rohit Chopra’s nomination was approved 50-48, with Vice President Kamala Harris earlier having to cast a tie-breaking vote to end debate. Republicans were united in opposition to Chopra. Before his approval, Chopra was a member of the Federal Trade Commission and helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren organize the agency after the 2008 financial crisis. He worked at the agency until joining the FTC in 2018.
A then GOP-controlled Senate unanimously confirmed Chopra to his FTC commissioner job in 2018, a point Democrats made during debates about his nomination when it became clear no Republican would vote to approve him this time.
Chopra, 39, held several high-ranking positions at the CFPB during the Obama administration, including the top job handling student-loan issues. Biden’s choice for the CFPB’s acting director, Dave Uejio, said in an email that he expects Chopra to begin work late next week once he resigns his position at the FTC [MSN].
Chopra has said his first focus as director would be the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans are now facing eviction and potential foreclosures due to the job losses caused by pandemic. He also said during his confirmation hearing that he considers privacy issues, and the way banks use algorithms to determine how to lend, to be other areas he may focus on as director.
President Biden’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has raised concerns among Republicans for a 2018 report in which he argued for the creation of a regulatory “superagency” that critics say could target conservative advocacy groups [Washington Examiner].
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