Kathy Kraninger Nominated to Head Federal Consumer Watchdog Agency

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may soon have a woman at the helm, the first in this powerful agency’s short seven-year history.

Kathy Kraninger has been nominated by President Trump to head the controversial CFPB, a federal agency created in the wake of the financial crisis to police the financial industry. Currently, Kraninger serves as an associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) working under OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, who simultaneously serves as the acting director of the CFPB.

At OMB Kraninger reportedly helps draft the budgets of 37 cabinet departments and government agencies—including the CFPB—with combined budgets of about $250 billion.

Kraninger, a graduate of Marquette University and the Georgetown University Law Center, previously worked for the Transportation Department and helped set up the Department of Homeland Security.

The White House hopes that Kraninger will bring a fresh perspective to this agency that has exerted tremendous control over banking and financial regulations.

Progressives led by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren are challenging her credentials for the job. Their negativity may just mask the fear that she will continue the deregulatory efforts of Director Mulvaney and the Trump Administration.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board makes it clear why her nomination is important to continue reigning in the agency’s bad behavior and harmful regulatory agenda:

Ms. Kraninger is also getting some flack for lacking experience in consumer finance. But she has more than enough of the experience that matters at the CFPB—in how bureaucracies work...

Mr. Mulvaney has built reform momentum that Ms. Kraninger could continue. She’d inherit policy advisers who chronicled the agency’s bad behavior when they worked for House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling. Her task would be to steer the bureau to perform its original function of aiding consumers rather than abetting trial-lawyer raids on law-abiding businesses as it did under former director Richard Cordray...

If Kraninger is not approved, time may run out for Mulvaney to continue moonlighting over the agency and if he leaves, Leandra English, the previous CFPB director’s deputy, will take the helm.

English would turn the ship around and steer it back in the direction of the previous administration. Under that agenda, financial sources that low-income and working families relied on such as small-dollar (or payday) lenders would wither leaving these consumers with fewer choices to get access to the resources they need in an emergency.

The CFPB needs a smart person at the top who won’t continue business as usual, but bring needed discipline and regulatory restraint to an agency that exceeds its original intention, yet fails to do its job. Just look at the Wells Fargo fiasco which left us wondering if this federal cop was asleep on the beat. Kathy Kraninger can be that person.

 

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