Chopra’s Nomination to Lead CFPB Narrowly Passed by Senate Committee

There is an old saying in sports that a tie game is like kissing your sister. I bet that Rohit Chopra feels a little differently this morning after the Senate Banking Committee voted 12-12 on his nomination to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Because of the power-sharing agreement in place in the Senate, the tie will likely not hold up Chopra’s nomination, but it will require some additional procedural steps in order to be advanced to the entire Senate for approval.

I have to admit that I was a little surprised at the vote, not because I think Republicans should like Chopra, but because of the way he was treated during last week’s confirmation hearing. I can recall maybe one or two instances where Republicans raised genuine concerns about Chopra’s qualifications or his vision for the CFPB. And because Chopra was unanimously confirmed by the Senate when it voted on his nomination to be a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission three years ago.

Sen. Pat Toomey [R-Pa.], the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, said during yesterday’s vote that he believes Chopra is anti-business. “Based on Commissioner Chopra’s record, I’m deeply concerned that he will return the CFPB to the hyperactive, sometimes law-breaking, anti-business, unaccountable agency it was under the Obama Administration,” Sen. Toomey said before the vote was called.

In endorsing Chopra’s nomination, Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio], the chairman of the Committee, noted that Chopra had cast the same vote as his Republican counterparts at the FTC more than 90% of the time. “There’s nothing anti-business about that record,” Sen. Brown said.

Chopra is still expected to be confirmed by the Senate to run the CFPB.

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