While it is expected that the Senate Banking Committee will confirm Kathy Kraninger’s nomination to be the next director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at least one analyst is predicting that the full Senate may not have a chance to confirm her during this session of Congress, meaning she will have to be re-nominated again next year.
The committee is expected to narrowly approve Kraninger’s nomination along party lines, at which point her nomination will move to the full Senate for confirmation. But with a packed legislative agenda before the midterm elections, it is expected that BCFP acting director Mick Mulvaney will remain at the agency through the first quarter of 2019, said Ed Groshans, a research analyst with Height Analytics, in a published report.
If the Senate does not vote on Kraninger’s nomination, she would have to be re-nominated by President Trump and would again have to go before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing. Kraninger’s first confirmation hearing provided much in the way of theater but little in the way of information or insight into how she would run the BCFP, except for her declaration that she would continue Mulvaney’s mandate of adhering to the letter of the law in determining the scope and breadth of the agency’s operations.
There have been some reports that have indicated that this exact scenario has been what the administration envisioned from the get-go, in that it would allow the administration to maximize the amount of time that Mulvaney could remain as acting director. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, an acting director is allowed to remain in place for up to 210 days, or until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed. As long as Kraninger’s nomination is still pending, Mulvaney can remain as acting director. If Kraninger needs to be re-nominated, the 210-day clock on Mulvaney’s tenure would re-start, as if it were making a payment on a debt where the statute of limitations has expired.