The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Kathleen (“Kathy”) Kraninger to be the director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as CFPB), paving the way for Kraninger’s installment at the bureau and for John (“Mick”) Mulvaney’s return to full-time duty as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The nomination of Kraninger was reported favorably by the Senate Banking Committee in August on a straight party-line vote, with 13 yeas and 12 nays. The Senate’s vote on confirmation came in at 50 yeas to 49 nays.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the likely chairman of the House Financial Services Committee beginning in January, issued a statement criticizing Mulvaney’s actions while leading the agency and urging Kraninger, as bureau director, to keep consumers’ interests top of mind.
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was specifically designed by Congress to be an independent watchdog for America’s consumers and I am committed to ensuring its statutorily mandated mission is not undermined,” Waters said in her statement. “Mick Mulvaney took a series of actions to weaken the agency’s ability to carry out its important mission, while benefitting the predatory actors the agency is designed to police … I call on Director Kraninger to put consumers first by rolling back the anti-consumer actions taken by her predecessor and allowing the Consumer Bureau to resume its work of protecting hardworking Americans from unfair, deceptive or abusive practices.”
Kraninger has served the past 20 years mostly working as a staff member for Congress or for federal agencies. Her most recent post is as associate director for general government for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she has overseen the budgets and related policies for seven cabinet departments and 30 other federal agencies, which she has said includes the bureau and other financial regulators.
Kraninger has no executive experience running a financial regulatory agency or, as she replied during her confirmation hearing in July before the Senate Banking Committee, any experience working in any financial institution. During the hearing, Kraninger stated support for the bureau’s mission but gave no details on any specific plans she might pursue as its director.
Kraninger’s nomination had been on track for action earlier this week, but schedules were shifted and federal agencies and departments closed Wednesday, which President Donald Trump proclaimed a national day of mourning of the recent death of former President George H.W. Bush.
Kraninger was nominated June 20 by President Donald Trump to fill the post, which Mulvaney has occupied in acting capacity following the resignation of former Director Richard Cordray.