Today the Senate is expected to vote on President Biden’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Rohit Chopra. CEI Senior Fellow John Berlau urged the Senate to seriously consider concerning statements the nominee made in the past and the tenure of the CFPB director under whom Chopra previously served, along with urgent reforms needed to the agency itself.
Statement by John Berlau:
“Before the Senate votes to confirm Rohit Chopra to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it should consider his disturbing past writings advocating that government police and penalize speech, as well as the broad direct and indirect authority the CFPB has over many of the nation’s businesses.
“The CFPB has massive power over community banks, credit unions, and small businesses that extend any form of credit. It also still lacks accountability to Congress, as it receives funding not from the appropriations process but automatically from the Federal Reserve.
“During the tenure of the CFPB director Richard Cordray, under whom Chopra served, lawmakers of both parties expressed concern about CFPB mandates on community banks and credit unions. The U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also ruled unanimously in PHH v. CFPB (2016) that the CFPB’s retroactive application of its new interpretation of a law violated the Constitution’s guarantee of due process and flunked ‘Rule of Law, 101.’
“Senators should weigh carefully what the consequences of a Chopra-led tenure would be on the nation’s banks, credit unions, and small businesses. Regardless of how the vote turns out, they should work to make the CFPB more accountable to Congress by subjecting it to the appropriations process.”