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Financial Services Roundtable chief Tim Pawlenty told the Wall Street Journal Friday that he doesn't expect major changes to financial regulation, given the ability of Democrats to filibuster most changes.

Instead he is focusing on executive appointments to key regulatory positions like "second- and third-tier political appointees" at the Treasury and Labor Departments, and the head of the SEC. This mirrors what Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn put forward when announcing the administration's intent to reform the regulatory apparatus. "Personnel is policy," Cohn said.

The CFPB exception: The Journal reports that House Republicans have removed language from their latest reform proposal that would have changed the CFPB to a five-person bipartisan commission rather than a bureau headed by a single, powerful director. Pawlenty sees this change as a move that allows the bipartisan commission idea to be presented as a compromise to attract conservative Democrats.

Go deeper

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.