First things first. Let’s get the most important question out of the way. Having listened to most of the House Financial Services Committee ask questions of Kathy Kraninger, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there was one question that kept popping into my head: how do you pronounce her last name?
Because there were members of the committee who said Kran-in-grr and there were members of the committee who said Kran-in-jer. In some cases, members of the committee called her both. I’m not trying to be glib, but maybe we can get the witness’s name pronounced correctly? It’s not exactly a tongue twister.
Beyond that, there wasn’t much to come out of Kraninger’s first appearance before Congress. Democrats took swings at her left and right and Kraninger did well to parry and protect her chin. Much of the vitriol was for her predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, the former acting director of the agency, because Kraninger has only been director of the agency for 86 days.
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.], the chairwoman of the committee, did note that she invited Mulvaney to testify and he did not respond to the invitation. When asked about any conversations she has had with Mulvaney since she took office, Kraninger said she has seen him socially on a couple of occasions but that was the extent of their interactions.
Kraninger did not really break any news during her testimony or her answers and members of the Financial Services Committee did not have any bombshells of their own to unleash during their five minutes of questioning. There were times where members of the committee got a little snippy when Kraninger would try to wax on when asked a yes or no question, but, for the most part, it was a fairly uneventful hearing.
Kraninger did say that she wants “stability, consistency, and transparency” to be the “hallmarks” of her leadership at the Bureau. She also said that consumer education will continue to be a focus of the agency moving forward and that the agency will continue to go after the “bad actors who have no intention of complying” with rules and regulations.
During the second panel, Scott Weltman, the managing shareholder of Weltman Weinberg & Reis joined a panel of consumer advocates to share his perspective of the CFPB. Weltman Weinberg & Reis was sued by the CFPB, only to beat the agency in court.