Great Britain

Biden choice for watchdog makes debut in nomination hearing

President Joe Biden s nominee to run the federal consumer watchdog agency is likely to be face hostile questioning from Republican Senators on Tuesday, but is likely to be confirmed with Democrats controlling a majority in the Senate.

Rohit Chopra, currently a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission, would be the third permanent director of the relatively new agency. President Donald Trump s director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Kathy Kraninger, was asked to resign by President Biden on the first day of his term.

Chopra said he planned to “work with (Senators) to build a new bipartisan consensus” for the bureau.

“I pledge to be a good partner to each of you and approach the agency’s mission with an open mind and attuned to market realities,” he said in prepared remarks.

Chopra would inherit an agency that’s a shell of its former self in the aftermath of the Trump administration. The CFPB drastically scaled back its enforcement actions, both in number and size, and it relegated concerns like fair lending to a much smaller position inside the bureau.

The CFPB was created following the housing bubble and financial crisis of the late 2000s, which directly led to the Great Recession. Part of the law that overhauled the entire financial industry, the CFPB was given the mission to be an aggressive regulator and a watchdog for the American consumers.

Chopra is a veteran of the CFPB, working there in the early days of the bureau’s creation as the bureau’s top official on student loan issues. He is considered a staunch ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the brainchild of the bureau, and is well liked by the consumer advocacy groups who often oppose banks in regulatory matters.

He left the bureau in in the final days of the Obama administration to work for an outside consumer advocacy group. In 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Chopra to the FTC to fill the Democratic seat on the regulator.

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