As insideARM reported earlier, the Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of Kathleen Kraninger to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), this is likely to happen tomorrow, and CEI supports the nomination. They provided these statements:

John Berlau, Senior Fellow:

“Based on her testimony at her confirmation hearing in July, the Competitive Enterprise Institute supports Kathleen Kraninger’s nomination to head the BCFP (formerly known as the CFPB). At the hearing, Kraninger made it clear she was against the ‘regulation by enforcement’ policies pursued by the Bureau’s first director, Richard Cordray, who arbitrarily and retroactively applied regulatory punishments against certain financial firms without due process. Kraninger says she favors competition as the best method to provide consumers with more affordable small-dollar loans. And she says she will work with Congress should it want to change the structure of the BCFP. The Senate should confirm Kraninger, and Congress should then take her up on her offer to help make the agency more accountable.”

Daniel Press, Policy Analyst:

“The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection director is an immensely important position. Not only does the Bureau have the authority to regulate nearly every consumer financial product in the economy, but the director has enormous unilateral power in writing and enforcing those rules. At her July testimony, Kraninger affirmed that as director, she would continue the important task of reforming the Bureau’s mission to better promote a free, competitive consumer financial marketplace. The Senate should vote to support such a mission and swiftly confirm this nominee.”

In July 2018 Senator Elizabeth Warren, who opposes Kraninger for the job, released a report entitled Record of Failure; Kathy Kraninger's Disastrous Tenure at the Office of Managementand Budget. You can read it here. The report concludes,

"Ms. Kraninger has no relevant experience in banking, finance, or consumer protection. The entire case for her nomination rests on her purported management abilities. Yet a close look at her record shows consistent mismanagement, often with devastating results for poor and vulnerable people. Her record does not justify a massive promotion to lead the federal agency charged with protecting consumers."

Her confirmation hearing didn't reveal much. During the nearly three-hour hearing, Democrats were head-scratchingly frustrated by Kraninger’s refusal to answer direct questions.

Nonetheless, the Senate Banking Committee voted along party lines to approve Kraninger’s nomination on August 23, sending the decision to the full chamber. Progress was then derailed by the contentious hearings for Supreme Court nominee (now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh, and then the mid-term elections.

It is unclear whether a BCFP Director Kraninger would change the course of current rulemaking activity in the debt collection market – a process which began five years ago. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) is currently slated for March 2019. Bureau staff have said they are working diligently to meet that target.

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Tags: CFPB