Senate Banking Committee narrowly passes Kraninger as next CFPB director

Senate Democrats continue to fight back

The Senate Committee on Housing, Banking and Urban Affairs narrowly passed a vote nominating Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The vote narrowly passed on Thursday with 13 senators voting for Kraninger’s nomination and 12 senators voting against it.

Kraninger’s vote will now move to a full Senate vote, where she will face her final hurdle before replacing CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and becoming director of the CFPB for the next five years.

But her nomination is not guaranteed – in fact, Senate Democrats continue to strongly oppose her as the next director of the CFPB. Part of their disapproval of the nomination stems from Kraninger’s potential role in constructing the controversial border policy that separated undocumented immigrant children from their parents.

However, Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Id., explained he would not expect this administration nor any administration to release documents related to a deliberative process. For this reason, he scheduled to move ahead with the vote, despite requests from Democrats to wait until the candidate submitted answers to questions and documents concerning her role in the policy’s development.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the most polarizing part of Dodd-Frank, and it is not surprising that the nominations of Cordray and now Kraninger are contentious,” Crapo said in his opening statement.

The committee was initially set to vote for the nomination of Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the CFPB, along with nominations for other positions, on Aug. 2. However, the night before, the Banking Committee announced the postponement of its vote.

This is because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his plan to end senate business for a short recess, saying the Senate would return on Aug. 13. Kraninger’s nomination was later rescheduled for August 23, 2018.

There are some who say Kraninger has no chance of passing the Senate nomination process, and that her nomination is simply a ploy to keep CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney at the helm. If her nomination is denied in the Senate, President Donald Trump will have another 210 days to nominate a new replacement.

But while Democrats continue to fight against the nomination, members of the housing industry stepped up to voice their support for Kraninger. The Mortgage Bankers Association sent the committee a letter, urging it to approve her nomination as quickly as possible.

“The bureau needs well-qualified leadership, and we are confident that should she be confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Kraninger will utilize her significant experience in government management to improve the Bureau’s operations and oversight,” said Bill Killmer, MBA senior vice president of legislative and political affairs. “We also are hopeful that she will leverage the information gathered from the bureau’s ongoing RFI process to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices while also ensuring that borrowers have access to safe, sustainable loan products.”

Other nominations were also rescheduled for Thursday and passed through the Banking Committee, however these were much less controversial. In fact, in the opening statements before the vote, Kraninger was the only nominee mentioned in a controversial manner.

The other nominees confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee included:

Kimberly Reed to be president of the Export-Import Bank, Elad Roisman to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Michael Bright to be president of Ginnie Mae, Rae Oliver to be inspector general of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Dino Falaschetti to be director of the office of financial research for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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