It seems that either Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the director of the Office of Management & Budget, either did not expect the White House to nominate one of his OMB deputies to replace him at the agency, underestimated the reaction to that nomination, or was not being entirely truthful when he has said that he did not want to be involved in the nomination and confirmation process of his successor.
Mulvaney has spent the past few days promoting Kathy Kraninger’s nomination as the next permanent director of the BCFP, a nomination he said he had no part in deciding, even though Mulvaney has said publicly that he does not want to “cast a shadow” over the nomination process, according to a published report.
“I’ve tried really hard to stay out of the discussion for whoever the White House nominates,” Mulvaney said at a banking industry conference in April. He added that his influence “runs the risk of the hearing being as much about me as about” the nominee.
But Mulvaney has spoken out publicly in favor of Kraninger’s nomination and the report said that Mulvaney has reached out to several Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee, which will hold Kraninger’s confirmation hearings.
The report cited four Senators, who all confirmed that Mulvaney had contacted them to talk about Kraninger’s nomination.
“Mulvaney is very high on the nomination, and that carries a lot weight with me,” said Sen. John Kennedy [R-La.].
Getting Kraninger confirmed would likely ensure that Mulvaney’s vision during his short legacy as acting director of the agency would continue for the foreseeable future.
Whether a confirmation hearing takes place before November’s mid-term elections is still undecided. If Kraninger is not confirmed before the current Congress finishes its session, she would have to be re-nominated. But Mulvaney would be allowed to remain as acting director for another 210 days before he would need to leave if a permanent director had not been nominated.
The White House would not be able to afford a single defection among Senate Republicans in order to approve Kraninger’s nomination, although the published report cites two Senate Democrats — Heidi Heitkamp [D-N.D.] and Joe Donnelly [D-Ind.], who might be willing to break ranks and approve Kraninger’s nomination. Both are considered to be vulnerable in November’s elections, both are in states that President Trump carried in 2016, and both might be willing to side with Republicans.