For Kathleen “Kathy” Kraninger, being nominated by the White House as the next permanent director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as CFPB) is another line of government service on her resume.
But this appointment would be the most significant line on her work history – and her first experience with a financial institution regulator – if she ever takes the post.
On Saturday evening, the White House let it be known that Kraninger is President Donald Trump’s pick to be the second, permanent director of the BCFP. If confirmed to the post by the Senate, she would succeed Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, appointed by Trump in November to succeed the first director of the consumer agency, Richard Cordray, who resigned.
The White House Monday announced Trump’s official “intention to nominate” Kraninger; the nomination was officially transmitted to the Senate Wednesday.
Kraninger’s nomination to the new role comes just in time: Mulvaney’s tenure as acting director is set to sunset as of Friday unless a nomination is made for someone to take his place. Kraninger’s nomination, once made official, could keep Mulvaney in place, at least for now.
Mulvaney was appointed by Trump under the auspices of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA). Under that statute, an acting officer appointed by the president serves “subject to the time limitations” spelled out in the law. Those include that an appointee may serve “for no longer than 210 days beginning on the date the vacancy occurs” or, “subject to subsection (b), once a first or second nomination for the office is submitted to the Senate, from the date of such nomination for the period that the nomination is pending in the Senate.”
That 210-day period since Mulvaney was appointed ends Friday.
Additionally, the statute outlines that if the president’s first nomination is rejected, withdrawn, or returned by the Senate, the acting officer can continue to serve for no more than 210 days after the date of the rejection, withdrawal or return.
If a second nomination is made, the FVRA notes, the acting officer can continue to serve until the second nomination is confirmed or for no more than 210 days after the second nomination is rejected, withdrawn, or returned. If the last day of any 210-day period is a day on which the Senate is not in session, the second day the Senate is next in session and receiving nominations is deemed the last day of such period, the law notes.
If the president does send the nomination to the Senate by Friday, Mulvaney may continue in his role at BCFP until Kraninger, if officially nominated, is confirmed. If her nomination is withdrawn, returned or rejected, that would trigger a new 210-day period.
Kraninger, who turns 43 this year, has spent the last more than 20 years mostly working as a staff member for Congress or for federal agencies. She also spent some time in the Peace Corps, working in Ukraine, according to a biography of her posted by a group she addressed as a conference speaker in September 2017.
Since March of last year, she has served as associate director for general government for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which Mulvaney also oversees as director. In that role, according to her bio, she “oversees budget development and execution for a number of executive branch agencies including the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security (DHS), Housing and Urban Development, Transportation (DOT), and Treasury.” (BCFP is not listed in her bio among the agencies.)
Before joining OMB, she served as the clerk of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the bio states, noting that committee “provides DHS with its $40 billion discretionary budget.”
Other congressional staffing positions include those on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security as well as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The bio also lists posts (though not described) with the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security (DOT and DHS, respectively). According to The Wall Street Journal, in a July 2016 interview with Federal News Radio for its “Women of Washington” series, she talked about being part of the team that set up DHS in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
However, no executive experience in either running a federal agency or in administering a federal financial institution regulatory agency is listed in her bio. None of the government experience listed in her bio relates, directly, to financial institution supervision.
She is a 1997 magna cum laude graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., according to the bio. It also states she earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007.