Senate Moves One Step Closer — Now One Step Away — From Confirming Chopra to Lead CFPB

After laying dormant for months, the nomination of Rohit Chopra to be the next Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was awoken and quickly accelerated yesterday, to the point where some published reports are saying his confirmation by the full Senate could be days away. The confirmation would give the CFPB its first permanent director since Kathleen Kraninger resigned at the request of President Biden on January 20. Since then, the CFPB has been helmed by Acting Director Dave Uejio, who himself has been nominated to be an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Chopra had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee back in March and the committee’s vote to confirm Chopra was deadlocked 12-12. That tie necessitated a full vote by the Senate first to move Chopra’s nomination out of committee and to the Senate floor. There had not been a rush to confirm Chopra because Democrats wanted to retain the majority atop the Federal Trade Commission, where Chopra has been a commissioner since 2018. Now that the Biden administration has nominated Chopra’s replacement, the Senate has been called on to do its thing and confirm Chopra to lead the CFPB.

The Senate yesterday voted 49-48 along party lines to discharge Chopra’s nomination from committee and move it to the full Senate for confirmation. Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.], Sen. Mike Rounds [R-S.D.], and Sen. Richard Burr [R-N.C.] did not vote yesterday.

While Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer [D-N.Y.] has not yet indicated when he will put Chopra’s confirmation to a vote, published reports indicated it would happen in a matter of days, or a week at the most.

“Americans need someone at the helm of the CFPB who is ready to stand up to the biggest banks and the most powerful corporations in order to protect consumers,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio], the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, in a statement. “Rohit Chopra has the expertise and track record to lead an agency dedicated to protecting working families and all consumers.”

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