Senate Confirms Kraninger as Director of the CFPB
On December 6, the Senate voted along party lines to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Kraninger will take over the federal agency from Mick Mulvaney, who has been the acting-director since Richard Cordray stepped down a year ago. With a five-year appointment, Kraninger could lead the CFPB until the end of 2023.
During Congressional testimony, Kraninger listed her four priorities for the CFPB, which are paraphrased below:
- The Bureau should make robust use of cost benefit analysis, as required by Congress, to facilitate competition and provide clear rules of the road.
- The Bureau should work closely with the other financial regulators and the States on supervision and enforcement.
- The Bureau would limit data collection to what is needed and required under law and ensure that data is protected.
- The Bureau must be accountable to the American people for its actions, including its expenditure of resources.
Kraninger is expected to continue many of Mulvaney’s policies. During a hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee, Kraninger said that she “cannot identify any actions that [Mulvaney] has taken with which I disagree.”
This will not likely please Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), the incoming chair of the House Financial Services Committee who has said, “I am committed to putting consumers first by engaging in robust oversight of Mulvaney’s actions at the CFPB and righting the many wrongs he has committed.”
With a Democratically-controlled House for at least the next two years, Kraninger will likely be spending more time in Congressional hearings than she would like. “By the time Kraninger gets in, I suspect subpoenas will have started coming,” said Allyson Baker, a partner at Venable. “It’s not so much an inquiry into Kraninger’s work but about Mulvaney’s time at the bureau, and what the bureau has or has not done.”