Biden appoints U.S. consumer watchdog veteran as acting director after Trump appointee resigns

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave as they arrive at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. January 20, 2021

The White House announced President Joe Biden would appoint Dave Uejio to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on an acting basis after its director, Kathy Kraninger, resigned at the new administration’s request.

Uejio, whose appointment was announced late Wednesday, will run the watchdog agency pending Senate confirmation of Federal Trade Commission member Rohit Chopra as its permanent director.

Uejio is a nine-year CFPB veteran and was most recently its chief strategy officer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Kraninger, who was appointed by Republican President Donald Trump, tweeted she was resigning shortly after Biden was sworn in on Wednesday. Her term was due to end in 2023.

Last year, however, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a challenge, backed by the Trump administration and long-supported by most Republicans, which argued that the CFPB director served at the president’s will.

Biden’s transition team made it clear on Monday that his White House was willing to test that new power if Kraninger did not resign when it announced he planned to nominate Chopra to replace her.

“I support the Constitutional prerogative of the President to appoint senior officials within the government who support the President’s policy priorities, which ensures our government is responsive to the will of the people,” Kraninger wrote in her resignation letter.

The CFPB has been a political lightning rod since it was created following the 2009 financial crisis, beloved by Democrats as a guardian of ordinary Americans but reviled by Republicans as too powerful and unaccountable.

Consumer groups have fiercely criticized Kraninger for defanging the agency by relaxing enforcement and easing rules on payday lending, mortgage lending and debt collection.

On Wednesday, Kraninger appeared to rebut those criticisms, writing that she had “focused on implementing common-sense solutions to complex problems and delivering real value for the American people.”

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