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Senate confirms Kathy Kraninger to lead CFPB

Kathleen Kraninger was confirmed to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Thursday. The Senate, by a 50-49 vote along party lines, confirmed the White House official and close associate of acting CFPB director Mick Mulvaney.

The vote went as expected. The Senate, by the same razor-thin margin, voted last week to end debate and advance Kraninger’s nomination. Banking and housing groups widely praised the final vote to confirm her, but Democrats and some consumer-advocacy groups say she has no experience in financial-services regulation, and will continue Mulvaney’s policies, which are widely perceived as more favorable to the banking and financial-services industries. 

kathykraningrKraninger has been serving as the associate director for general government programs at the Office of Management and Budget, which Mulvaney leads. As CFPB director, Kraninger will wield enormous power within the independent watchdog agency.

The bureau, which is now officially known as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, has not had a permanent director since Richard Cordray resigned in November 2017. Kraninger's term will extend five years. 

 “Kathy Kraninger is an intelligent, experienced administrator who has worked on a broad range of complex, high-profile issues over the course of her career,” said Robert D. Broeksmit, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “We look forward to working with her and anticipate she will continue the Bureau’s efforts to protect consumers by providing financial institutions clear and understandable regulations accompanied by appropriate compliance and implementation requirements.”

Other groups issuing words of praise were the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the American Bankers Association and the Community Home Lenders Association, a nonbank trade group. 

“Earlier this month, NAR spearheaded a support letter for Ms. Kraninger to Senate leadership, an effort that was supported by over 20 housing and financial organizations from across the industry,” said Shannon McGahn, NAR’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Ultimately, NAR is pleased to see Ms. Kraninger confirmed, and we look forward to working alongside the Bureau in our shared efforts to protect consumers, ensure compliance certainty in the marketplace and strengthen our nation’s housing industry.”

Kraninger's critics also issued statements.

“Kathy Kraninger is unqualified and has refused to answer questions time and time again,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, wrote on Twitter. “From what we know about her record, she certainly doesn’t sound like someone who’d stand with seniors, servicemembers, and students as @CFPB Director. Working families deserve better.” 


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