Rohit Chopra is going to be nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to replace Kathleen Kraninger as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a number of reports citing anonymous sources.
Chopra is currently a commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission and formerly worked at the CFPB as an assistant director and its student loan ombudsman. His name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Kraninger since before the November election. Chopra is considered to be a “strong consumer advocate aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.],” according to a published report.
If nominated, Chopra would have to be confirmed by the Senate in order to replace Kraninger. It is likely that an interim director would run the CFPB until Chopra is confirmed.
President-elect Biden would be able to nominate Chopra to be the new director thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Seila Law v. CFPB, which ruled that the director of the agency should be able to be fired for any reason, not just for cause.
Kraninger has run the CFPB since being confirmed in December 2018. She replaced Mick Mulvaney, who ran the agency as acting director following the resignation of former director Richard Cordray in November 2017. Under Kraninger, the CFPB has moved forward with its debt collection rule, issuing a proposed rule in May 2019 and the final rule in two phases, one in October 2020 and the other last month. What happens to that rule should a new director be named remains to be seen.
Senate confirmation of Chopra’s nomination is not a slam-dunk guarantee, according to published reports. With the Senate deadlocked at 50-50, President-elect Biden would either need every Senate Democrat to vote in favor of Chopra’s nomination, or will need one Republican for each Democrat who chooses not to confirm Chopra. The CFPB has long been a back-and-forth target for Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Democrats, by and large, approved of the aggressive regulatory and enforcement agenda of Cordray, while Republicans preferred the less aggressive stance of Mulvaney and Kraninger, although the number of enforcement actions announced by the CFPB in recent months has spiked.