FBI director Christopher Wray to testify over Capitol insurrection – live updates

Christopher Wray isn’t the only person facing a questioning in Congress today. Joe Biden’s nominees to head two key financial watchdogs will be questioned by lawmakers today on how they plan to tackle racial and income inequality, climate change, fintech regulation, cryptocurrencies, corporate enforcement and other issues.

Gary Gensler, the White House’s nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Rohit Chopra, nominated to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will appear before the Democratic-led Senate banking committee.

Progressives see the agencies as key to advancing policy priorities on climate change and social justice and expect the pair, both experienced corporate regulators, to take a tough line on Wall Street. Reuters report that Republicans have criticized Biden for bowing to leftists and have warned that Gensler and Chopra will be divisive if confirmed to the positions.

“These are both going to be key officials setting financial policy for Team Biden. For Gensler, the focus will be on investor protection and how the SEC should respond to GameStop-related market volatility. For Chopra, it will be about his vision for the agency and his enforcement priorities,” said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group.

In prepared remarks posted on Monday, the two nominees vowed to be diligent stewards of the watchdogs without delving into specifics.

As head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gensler implemented new swaps trading rules created by Congress in 2010 in response to the global financial crisis, developing a reputation as a tough operator willing to stand up to powerful Wall Street interests.

Currently a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, where he campaigned for tougher consumer privacy and enforcement penalties, Chopra helped establish the CFPB, which was formally launched in 2011.

Democrats will want to know Chopra’s plans for reviving the agency after the Trump administration weakened enforcement and several rules. Republicans are likely to query him on whether the CFPB overstepped its authority in the past.

Chopra will also likely be asked about gaps in minorities’ access to credit, exorbitant lending rates and abusive debt-collection practices, analysts said.

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