New Jersey Citizen Action Calls on Senate to Confirm Chopra

President Biden’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will advance to the Senate floor for a vote following a 12–12 tie vote in the Senate Banking Committee. Under Senate rules, even though there was a tie in the committee vote, the Majority Leader (Chuck Schumer) can move the nomination to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.

Consumer advocacy groups have been supportive of Chopra since his nomination. For example, representatives of Americans for Financial Reform weighed-in with these remarks:

We applaud the nomination of Rohit Chopra to lead the CFPB. His commitment to consumer protection, his effectiveness at using the tools of government to serve the public interest, and his willingness to challenge powerful corporate interests when necessary are exactly what the Bureau needs to fulfill its crucial consumer protection mission.

The CFPB has an incredibly important job to do, including stopping financial rip-offs, fighting discrimination, ending predatory lending, halting debt collection abuses, insisting on corporate accountability and much more. Right now, it also has an urgent role to play in helping families survive and recover from the pandemic-induced economic crisis, especially in Black and Latinx where people have been hardest hit, in concert with the incoming Administration’s broad rebuilding agenda.

Now, New Jersey Citizen Action is pushing for Chopra’s confirmation by the full Senate. Beverly Brown-Ruggia of NJ Citizen Action recently noted:

If, like many people in New Jersey and the U.S., your financial situation could use some protection from the current economic circumstances we all face, then there’s a public servant whose name you should know: Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s nominee to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

For much of the past four years, the CFPB, as it is known, has been run by people who don’t believe that American consumers deserve an ally in the federal government, an agency that fights on their behalf against Wall Street, predatory lenders, and other bad actors. Congress created the CFPB in 2010 as a “cop on the beat” allied with consumers, but the Trump-appointed leadership decided to simply do what the financial services industry wanted.

Fortunately, President Biden’s choice of Mr. Chopra is a good one. Mr. Chopra was an early employee of the CFPB when now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren fought for and then set up the agency in the years after the 2008 financial crisis. He proved his worth, doing battle on behalf of students who’d borrow money to finance their education, only to be faced with abusive treatment by lenders.

Having a real ally of consumers at the CFPB matters for the people of this country. When it was under good leadership, the bureau returned $12 billion in returned fees and cancelled debts to over 28 million Americans, many of them in New Jersey. Predatory lenders are constantly trying to get around our state laws protecting consumers; having a strong CFPB in Washington helps keep them at bay. We are joining other consumer groups in supporting his nomination, which is getting a hearing during National Consumer Protection Week.

As the Chopra vote moves closer, advocates are calling for a return to a CFPB that actually stands up for consumers instead of laying down for the interests of big business.

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

For more on consumer protection issues, follow Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN

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