The critics are holding nothing back in their disdain for President Trump’s choice of Kathy Kraninger to be the next director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
It took a couple of days, but Democrats and consumer advocates had their pitchforks and torches out yesterday as they blasted away at Kraninger and President Trump for nominating an individual with no experience in either consumer protection or financial services. Kraninger is currently an associate director at the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she works for Mick Mulvaney, who is the acting director of the BCFP.
“This nominee is not qualified for this position,” said J.W. Verret, an assistant law professor at George Mason University and a former staffer on the House Financial Services Committee. “Every other candidate that was mentioned was more qualified.”
One person who has been surprisingly silent since Kraninger’s name was released has been Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.], one of the architects of the BCFP and one of Mulvaney’s most vocal critics during his seven months as acting director. Sen. Warren has yet to release a statement or comment about Kraninger’s nomination. But if her feelings are the same as other Democrats, you can imagine the likely adjectives she will be using.
“Her apparent lack of experience in consumer finance, coupled with the Administration’s hostility to consumer protection, raises questions about her qualifications to lead such an important agency,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.], the House Minority Leader.
Consumer advocates see the move as a thinly veiled attempt to keep Mulvaney running the BCFP for the foreseeable future. Mulvaney can remain acting director as long as someone has been nominated to become permanent director. When the current session of Congress ends at the end of this year and a new session is gaveled in, if a nominee has not been confirmed by the Senate, President Trump can reappoint Mulvaney as acting director for another 220 days before having to renominate a new permanent director. One report said a vote on her confirmation may not happen until 2019, after the mid-term elections. If Democrats take back control of the Senate in the mid-terms, that could set the stage for a contentious confirmation process for anyone nominated by President Trump.
Is there some poetic justice or karmic retribution that President Trump has nominated a subordinate to Mulvaney, similar to what former director Richard Cordray did in the hours before he resigned last November, when he promoted Leandra English to deputy director of the bureau in the hopes that she would replace him as acting director when he left? That’s for the president and Mulvaney to know and everyone else to find out.