Despite wide-spread expectations that the full Senate will confirm Rohit Chopra as CFPB Director before the end of this month, we now understand that the Biden Administration is likely to seek a delay in Mr. Chopra’s confirmation until it fills the FTC vacancy created by the resignation of former Chairman Joseph Simons.
Mr. Simons’ resignation was effective January 29, 2021. Mr. Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter are the two current Democratic FTC Commissioners, with Ms. Slaughter now serving as Acting FTC Chair. If Mr. Chopra is confirmed by the Senate, he would need to resign from the FTC before he could be sworn in as CFPB Director. If President Biden does not fill Mr. Simons’ seat before Mr. Chopra resigns from the FTC, the remaining two Republican FTC Commissioners would hold a 2-1 majority since Ms. Slaughter would then be the only Democratic FTC Commissioner. To avoid this result, President Biden would need to replace Mr. Simons with a new Democratic FTC Commissioner before Mr. Chopra resigns from the FTC. (Mr. Chopra’s resignation will create another vacancy for President Biden to fill and give Democrats a 3-2 majority.)