U.S. Senate Ends Debate; Moves Ahead to Final Vote for Kathy Kraninger to Serve as BCFP Director
If confirmed, Kraninger will succeed Mick Mulvaney as the bureau’s director for a five-year term. The vote is expected next week.
11/29/2018 3:00 PM
The U.S. Senate voted along party lines to end debate (50-49) on Kathy Kraninger’s nomination as director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Thursday. It is likely the confirmation vote will occur next week, according to Politico reporter Zachary Warmbrodt on Twitter.
If confirmed, she will replace Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, who is also the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“It is time for the Senate to confirm a permanent director, I support Ms. Kraninger, and urge my colleagues to join me in voting yes on her nomination,” U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said before the vote to end debate Thursday.
He noted, given changes at the bureau over the last year and frustration on both sides of the aisle that it’s important to reconsider the structure of the bureau and its funding appropriations through legislation.
In her July testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, covered by Crapo during his remarks Thursday, Kraninger said, “Congress established the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection ‘to ensure all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services…that are fair, transparent, and competitive.’ I am firmly committed to satisfying this Congressional mandate.”
In general, Kraninger expressed support for limiting and reviewing the bureau’s past “regulation by enforcement” approach, using data-driven decision-making within the law and working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
ACA International urged the Senate to move forward with confirming Kraninger as director of the BCFP after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., advanced consideration of the vote to the Senate floor Thursday.
“ACA members benefit from certainty about the bureau’s leadership. When a permanent director is in place there is more clarity about what the BCFP’s priorities are, more precise timelines for rulemaking efforts, and a better understanding of compliance expectations,” CEO Mark Neeb said in a letter to McConnell; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ranking member of the banking committee.
Kraninger, currently associate director at the OMB who works for Mulvaney, has drawn opposition from U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Brown, ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and Jack Reed, D-R.I.
Warren continued her opposition before Thursday’s debate, issuing a letter to 99 other members of the Senate asking for their vote against Kraninger’s nomination, according to a news release.
“She has never worked on consumer protection issues,” Warren said on the Senate floor Thursday, also contesting Kraninger’s agreement with Mulvaney’s leadership decisions during his year as acting director of the bureau.
Despite the opposition to the nomination, McConnell advanced consideration of Kraninger’s nomination as director of the BCFP—five months after the Senate Banking Committee voted 13-12 along party lines in favor of her role to lead the bureau.
ACA International is also monitoring the potential impact Kraninger’s confirmation could have on the timing of the debt collection rulemaking.
Tom Pahl, the BCFP’s policy director for research, markets and regulation, also recently told attendees at ACA International’s 2018 Fall Forum & Expo, that the bureau is proceeding with the March 2019 timeline for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and that at this time he does not anticipate the confirmation of a permanent director to impact that timing.
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