As the countdown to the confirmation hearing for Kathy Kraninger ticks down inside two weeks, a law professor and former economist for the House Financial Services Committee has come out and blasted the nomination, saying director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is “too important” and “too powerful” to be “left to an unqualified nominee.”
Kraninger’s nomination to be director of the BCFP caught many off-guard when it was announced two weeks ago. Kraninger, who is an associate director of the White House Office of Management & Budget has no experience in consumer protection or financial regulation. Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the BCFP and the director of the OMB, and others have rushed to Kraninger’s defense, saying her experience in overseeing cabinet departments and managing budgets are what is needed most at the agency right now.
Kraninger’s first exposure to most of the rules promulgated by the CFPB will, by all appearances, come during preparation for her confirmation hearings. Law students currently doing summer clerkships at the CFPB will have more experience with consumer-credit regulation than the nominee to lead the bureau.
Confirming Kraninger as director of the agency would be a “five-year mistake” Verret writes, since the director of the agency can only be fired for cause and can not be replaced otherwise.
Overseeing a budget or a cabinet department is not the same as running an agency on your own, Verret contends. And simply having worked for, and received an endorsement from, Mulvaney should also not be enough to rubber stamp confirm Kraninger for a job that has been called the “second-most powerful” position in the federal government.
The Senate and the American people should be concerned, and Kraninger should be heavily scrutinized in her confirmation hearings. The CFPB has unfettered power over the financial tools used by Americans every day to save for their future, buy homes, and fund routine purchases; it is not the right agency for on-the-job training.