by Jeff Sovern
[Chopra's] aggressive past statements coupled with the power and high profile that comes with the CFPB job could lead to some pointed questions from GOP lawmakers at his hearing, and potential opposition from some members on the Senate floor. Democrats hold a razor thin majority, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting a tiebreaking vote.
Some critics may bristle at Chopra’s use of more inflammatory language about business malfeasance than the tone set by Kraninger.
To some observers, Chopra is reminiscent of former CFPB Director Richard Cordray, who issued press releases creating headline risk for large public companies. Chopra’s chief of staff at the FTC, Jen Howard, had been the CFPB’s assistant communications director under Cordray. If Chopra is confirmed, she is expected to become the CFPB’s chief of staff, sources said.
“He will be at least as aggressive as former Director Cordray, if not more so,” said Lucy Morris, a partner at Hudson Cook and a former CFPB deputy enforcement director who worked with Chopra in the CFPB’s early years. “His statements are very hard-hitting and the language is quite charged.”
His public comments and tweets provide a road map for how he would govern as the nation’s top cop for enforcing consumer financial laws.
“He has a very lengthy consumer protection record,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at the Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “He believes in meaningful accountability. When people are harmed and companies break the law, he thinks there needs to be consequences.”
Ballard Spahr held a very informative webinar about what to expect from Chopra, with guest Richard Cordray. If you missed the webinar, you can listen to the last two episodes of their Consumer Financial Monitor Podcast, which recycled much, if not all, of the webinar's content. The Ballard podcast is one of my favorites consumer law podcasts, by the way.