Senate Republicans say Chopra’s refusal to answer questions should disqualify him as next CFPB director
On July 13, Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee sent a follow-up letter to CFPB director nominee and FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, claiming Chopra’s refusal to answer questions concerning potential violations of law at the Bureau should disqualify him from consideration as its next director. The Senators referred to Ranking Member Pat Toomey’s June 17 letter, which asked Chopra whether he was aware of any alleged improper treatment of, or efforts to, “sideline” Bureau employees. A similar letter was sent to CFPB acting Director Dave Uejio, asking for certain records on staff departures, separation incentives, and investigations. Uejio initially responded that the CFPB needed additional time to respond to the Senators’ request, then later sent a letter stating “it would not be appropriate for me to confirm or deny the placement of any Bureau employee on administrative leave or the pendency of any internal investigations into alleged employee misconduct” citing, among other things, confidentiality restrictions under the Privacy Act. Uejio stressed the CFPB’s compliance with all applicable laws and regulations designed to protect career employees and added that “no career Bureau Executive has been involuntarily separated” from the agency under his watch, nor has the CFPB taken disciplinary or adverse action against any such individuals or offered voluntary separation compensation (VSC) incentives “for any political or partisan reason.” Uejio also emphasized that Chopra has had no involvement with VSC decisions or internal investigations into employees.
Chopra currently awaits a Senate confirmation vote on his nomination.