Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and other Senate Banking Committee Republicans called on President Joe Biden to rebuke Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Director Marty Gruenberg for their illegitimate attempt to violate the FDIC’s 88-year tradition of working independently from partisan political influence.

In a letter, the senators also urged the president to replace immediately Director Gruenberg—whose term expired three years ago and who is serving in a temporary capacity—and nominate an individual to fill the vacant Republican seat on the FDIC board.

“America’s independent financial regulators are respected the world over for their professionalism and integrity, and we fear the actions of Director Chopra and Director Gruenberg if left unchecked have the potential to weaken faith in our financial institutions and markets,” wrote the senators.

On Dec. 9, CFPB Director Chopra and FDIC Director Gruenberg published a joint statement to the CFPB’s website claiming the FDIC approved a request for information on bank mergers. Shortly thereafter, the FDIC clarified that no such document had been approved by the FDIC and that there was no valid vote by the FDIC board.

Members of the board cannot bring any regulatory changes or actions for a vote without the FDIC chairman’s consent. 

“Director Chopra and Director Gruenberg’s statement and actions make clear that they violated FDIC procedures with the apparent goal of usurping the powers of the chairman and inhibiting her ability to carry out her official duties and responsibilities. In addition to violating the FDIC bylaws and processes, their actions upended an 88-year tradition of the FDIC board working on a collegial basis with its chairman as well as working independent from partisan political influence,” the senators explained.

“We urge you to nominate promptly a candidate to replace Director Gruenberg, as well as a candidate to fill the vacant Vice-Chairman position on the FDIC board. These candidates should be well-qualified, mainstream individuals who will respect the institutional norms and practices that Director Chopra and Director Gruenberg have willfully chosen to ignore,” the senators concluded.

The letter is available here.