Chopra is expected to be installed as the CFPB’s acting director while he waits for a quick Senate confirmation, experts said. Because Chopra is currently a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission and therefore is already Senate-confirmed, Biden can install him as the acting director * * *
“He is already Senate-confirmed so they can have him installed on day one as interim director without any challenges in order for a smooth transition,” said Jenny Lee, a partner at the law firm Arent Fox and a former CFPB enforcement attorney.
Though CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger’s term expires in 2023, the Supreme Court ruled in June that the president can fire a CFPB director for any reason. It is unclear if Kraninger plans to resign before the inauguration or will be fired.
Some Republicans suggest that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act — which gives presidents latitude to make appointments — does not cover vacancies created by firings.
“Assuming Kraninger does not invoke the Vacancies Act, there’s nothing to stop Rohit from being both acting director and then permanent director,” Lee said.
Democrats are giving little credence to the idea that Biden can fire Kraninger but then not name her replacement.
UPDATE: Ballard Spahr's Chris Willis believes Chopra cannot serve as full-time director after serving as acting director.