Senate Confirms New CFPB Director

Written by Eamonn K. Moran

On December 6, 2018, the United States Senate voted 50-49 (in a party line vote) to confirm Kathleen L. Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB). Kraninger has served as an associate director at the Office of Management of Budget (OMB) since early 2017. Kraninger will replace CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney (who also serves as the director of OMB). This marks another addition by the Trump Administration to a financial services regulatory agency since President Trump has taken office.

As we previously reported, Kraninger is expected to continue Mulvaney’s drive to make the CFPB more business friendly. Kraninger’s qualifications for the leadership position were challenged during the confirmation process because she lacks experience in financial services and consumer issues. Prior to her post at the OMB, Kraninger worked for the Department of Homeland Security and the Senate Appropriations Committee. She also earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Kraninger stated that “under [her] stewardship, the Bureau will take aggressive action against bad actors who break the rules by engaging in fraud and other illegal activity.” We do however, expect that Director Kraninger will continue the initiatives implemented under Mulvaney’s leadership, including the Office of Innovation.

Democrats have pledged to scrutinize the actions taken by the CFPB’s new leadership in the post-Richard Cordray era once they retake control of the House of Representatives in January. “I call on Director Kraninger to put consumers first by rolling back the anti-consumer actions taken by her predecessor and allowing the Consumer Bureau to resume its work of protecting hardworking Americans from unfair, deceptive or abusive practices,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) (who is slated to become the next chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee), said in a statement after the confirmation vote.

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