Chopra nomination

President Donald Trump’s nomination of Indian American Rohit Chopra, a Democrat, to the Federal Trade Commission has cleared the Senate Commerce Committee. ( photo)

The Senate Commerce Committee Feb. 28 voted to approve President Donald Trump's four nominees to the Federal Trade Commission, who included Indian American Rohit Chopra, a spokeswoman for the committee said.

The panel approved the nominations of Chopra, a Democrat; as well as antitrust lawyer Joe Simons, who will chair the commission; and Republicans Christine Wilson and Noah Phillips.

It was not immediately clear when the full Senate would vote on the nominations. Trump has been slow in filling the FTC posts, leaving the agency in the hands of two Obama appointees for more than a year into his term, according to a Reuters report.

The FTC works with the U.S. Justice Department to enforce antitrust law and investigates companies accused of deceptive advertising.

The FTC has been sharply criticized for settling with Google in early 2013 after a lengthy investigation into whether the company had manipulated search results to hurt rivals, among other offenses, the report said.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has recommended that the White House nominate one of his top aides, Rebecca Slaughter, to the second Democratic seat, it added.

Chopra is a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America. His work there has focused on consumer protection issues facing young people and military families. He is widely regarded for his expertise in the student loan market. (See earlier India-West story here.)

He previously served as assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he oversaw the agency’s work on behalf of students and young consumers. He was also named by the Secretary of the Treasury to serve as the CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman.

Chopra later served as Special Adviser to the Secretary of Education to seek enhancements to student loan servicing and to develop stronger consumer protection standards.

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