March 10, 2021

Brown Statement at Executive Session to Vote on Nominees and Subcommittees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, delivered the following remarks at an executive session to vote on Subcommittee Organization and Jurisdiction and the nominations of the Honorable Gary Gensler, to be a Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Honorable Rohit Chopra to be Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB).  The Subcommittee Organization was approved, Mr. Gensler was advanced by a vote of 14-10, and Mr. Chopra’s vote was tied.

Mr. Chopra’s nomination will be considered by the full Senate in accordance with Senate Resolution 27.

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

Today we gather to approve the Subcommittee organization and jurisdiction and consider the nomination of two distinguished public servants – Mr. Gary Gensler to complete a term as a Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, ending on June 5, 2021, and for a subsequent term ending on June 5, 2026, and Commissioner Rohit Chopra to serve a five-year term as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

We heard from them both last week – their passion to serve and their exceptional qualifications were obvious, and their professionalism and commitment to the people who make this country work was clear.

Both nominees also showed a deep knowledge of both the markets, and the reality of the economy that most families live in.

Most importantly, both nominees are committed to creating an economy that works for all workers.

Mr. Gensler’s leadership of the SEC is critical to ensuring that the agency meets the evolving needs of the people whose hard-earned savings are invested in the markets.

As more Americans save and invest for the future, the SEC’s mission to protect them is critical to build faith in our markets, and make them fair. Mr. Gensler’s tenure as CFTC Chair and as a Treasury Department official provide him with the experience and insights to be an effective SEC Chair.

Mr. Chopra is nominated to lead the Consumer Protection Bureau at a time when the agency is needed more than ever to help struggling families weather the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just last week the CFPB issued a report warning that more than 11 million families are at risk of losing their home.

We have also seen the American people reach out in record numbers to the CFPB with complaints about credit reporting companies, banks, and debt collectors.

No one should have their financial future ruined because of a global pandemic outside any family’s control.

The Senate has confirmed both Mr. Gensler and Mr. Chopra with overwhelming bipartisan support in the past – in fact, Mr. Chopra’s vote in 2018 was unanimous.

They have both pledged to have an open mind and to work with and be responsive to members of both parties of Congress.

That responsiveness is critical.

For them to do their jobs effectively, they need to engage with all of us – Republicans and Democrats, whether on or off this Committee.  And they have given us their word that they will.

I am confident Mr. Gensler will carry out the SEC’s mission, and make sure U.S. capital markets continue to be the envy of the world. That means listening to investors—large and small—as well as American businesses and the workers that make their companies successful. His record at the CFTC shows his ability to work on a bipartisan basis.

I’m confident Mr. Chopra will be equally willing to engage with members of both parties.

Mr. Chopra has voted with Republican-appointed FTC Commissioners more than 90 percent of the time.

And he has a strong record of standing up for small businesses and American manufacturers that are harmed by abusive and anticompetitive practices by foreign companies, or by Big Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook.

I have heard members raise concerns that he’s “anti-business” – but there’s nothing anti-business about that record.

Mr. Gensler and Mr. Chopra have the expertise and the track record necessary to lead the SEC and CFPB at a time when workers and their families are desperate for someone to look out for them.

They both have a strong record of protecting American families, promoting competitive markets, and holding bad actors accountable.

It’s time we move forward with their nominations so they can get to the important work of helping lead our efforts to Build Back Better, and to create an economy that works for everyone.