After hearing the news that President Donald Trump intends to nominate Office of Budget and Management Deputy Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, several experts began to roll out the welcome mat or criticize the administration’s choice.
Over the weekend, reports began to circulate over the president’s intent to nominate Kraninger. On Monday, the White House made the announcement official as it posted Trump’s intent to nominate.
The White House website explained that in her current position, Kraninger oversees $250 billion in budgetary resources for seven cabinet departments and thirty other federal agencies including the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the CFPB.
Kraninger would replace current CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, who has been at the post for about six months. His term is set to end Friday, however after the president officially nominates the next director, Mulvaney will remain at the helm of the bureau until Kraninger is confirmed by the Senate.
However, some critics claim her experience leaves her unequipped to stand as the next director of the CFPB.
“This is a scheme to keep Mick Mulvaney at the helm of the CFPB so he can continue working on behalf of the payday lenders,” said Yana Miles, Center for Responsible Lending senior legislative counsel. “Mulvaney has already publicly stated his intention to unlawfully stay at the consumer bureau until the end of the year or longer.”
“If the Administration was serious about protecting consumers, the President would have nominated someone qualified last January instead of someone unqualified in June, just days before the CFPB nomination deadline,” Miles said.
And one consumer group, the Stop the Debt Trap campaign, which is made up of more than 750 organizations across the U.S., said that nominating Kraninger is simply a ploy to keep Mulvaney at the helm.
“Kathy Kraninger has little to no relevant consumer protection experience, and this announcement is nothing but a ploy to keep Mulvaney in charge of the CFPB so he can continue to do the bidding of predatory lenders,” the group said. “We need a serious, qualified CFPB director who has a track record of going to bat for consumers and who can keep Wall Street accountable and transparent to the public.”
“To best serve their constituents, the Senate must swiftly reject Kathy Kraninger, call on Mick Mulvaney to resign as the unlawful head of the bureau, and send a message that we need a champion who people can trust to enforce our consumer protection laws,” it stated.
And PIRG, a federation of nonprofit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations, agreed Kraninger does not have the experience needed to run the bureau.
“The American people need a director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a track record of looking out for consumers in the financial marketplace,” PIRG Consumer Campaign Director Mike Litt said. “Kathy Kraninger appears to lack that on her resume.”
“Also troubling are acting director Mick Mulvaney’s attempts to defang and defund the bureau, which would prevent future directors from carrying out its mission,” Litt said. “Acting director Mick Mulvaney should stop trying to curb the ability of future directors to do their jobs before a permanent director is confirmed by the Senate.”
But not everyone is opposed to the nomination.
“Kathy Kraninger has been part of Mick Mulvaney’s effort to stop BCFP abuse of power and make sure the bureau enforces the law as Congress intended,” Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow John Berlau said, referring to the name Mulvaney has begun calling the bureau. “During confirmation hearings, the Senate should ask about how BCFP red tape is harming consumers, entrepreneurs, Main Street banks, and credit unions and get Ms. Kraninger’s views on the scope and limits of the bureau’s power.”
“At the same time, Congress must to do its part to rein in the unchecked power of the BCFP by making the director removable by the president and subject to Congressional appropriations,” Berlau said.
Some experts in the housing industry remained neutral on the nomination, simply stating that they look forward to working with the new director.
“MBA is pleased that Kathy Kraninger has been nominated to oversee the BCFP,” said Dave Motley, Mortgage Bankers Association chairman. “Based on her background and experience, we look forward to hearing her views about how to improve the bureau’s oversight and operations, and how she will leverage the information gathered from the ongoing RFI process to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices while also ensuring they enjoy access to safe, sustainable loan products. MBA is eager for a fair and thorough confirmation process to begin as quickly as possible.”
And the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions issued a similar statement, saying it looks forward to the opportunity to work with Kraninger.
“NAFCU looks forward to the opportunity to work with Ms. Kraninger should she be confirmed as CFPB director,” NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said. “Although NAFCU consistently argues that credit unions should not be subject to the CFPB's enforcement authority, we have had a strong working relationship with Acting Director [Mick] Mulvaney and appreciate him reviewing the bureau's actions and bringing some relief to credit unions over the past few months.”
The CFPB did not respond to HousingWire's request for comment.