In a surprising announcement Saturday, the White House revealed President Trump will nominate budget official Kathy Kraninger as permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Kraninger currently serves as associate director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
“(Kraninger) will bring a fresh perspective and much-needed management experience to the (bureau), which has been plagued by excessive spending, dysfunctional operations, and politicized agendas,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.
While the White House’s submission of Kraninger to lead the bureau was praised by the administration and some GOP lawmakers, Democrats almost universally condemned the choice to lead the agency.
Created in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, the CFPB is regarded by advocates as the last safeguard for consumers against abusive and fraudulent practices by financial companies.
Many Democrats on Capitol Hill have criticized the bureau under its current leader, Mick Mulvaney, who also serves in the dual role as head of OMB.
A fierce critic of the CFPB and a strong proponent of President Trump’s deregulatory position, Mulvaney has faced intense scrutiny for dismantling the agency’s authority, resulting in the slow-rolling of investigations for possible violations, as well as implementing a six-month data collection freeze.
Blasting Kraninger’s nomination, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) questioned the nominee’s experience and wrote on Twitter:
“Kraninger . . . has an opportunity to be a champion for consumers & not the financial industry. But her apparent lack of experience in consumer finance raises serious questions about her ability to lead the agency.”
Despite the expected outcry from Democrats, Kraninger does have support from the financial sector and GOP lawmakers, particularly those associated with Mulvaney.
“We trust she shares our interest in ensuring consumers have access to the financial products they want and need, while maintaining the protections they deserve,” an American Bankers Association statement read in-part supporting the nomination.
A graduate of Marquette University, Kraninger served in the Peace Corps and worked for both the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security. She later served as a staffer for several Senate committees, including the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
While serving with OMB, Kraninger has been responsible with drafting annual budgets for cabinet departments and various government agencies.
If confirmed, Kraninger will lead an agency of 1,700 employees, oversee an annual budget of approximately $600 million, and be responsible for oversight of financial institutions.
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