This press release was originally posted through Allied Progress. Allied Progress is now Accountable.US.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican-controlled Senate will likely vote on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sometime this week despite opposing lame duck confirmation votes during the Obama administration.

Not much has changed since President Trump nominated her in June and the Senate Banking Committee held her confirmation hearing in August. Kraninger still has no experience on consumer protection issues and still refuses to answer pointed questions about her record and views on key issues.

Meanwhile, Kraninger and the White House continue to stonewall efforts to make release records related to her work before and during the Trump administration public. In fact,Allied Progress is still in litigation with the Office of Management and Budget over the production of these and other documents.

“Kathy Kraninger has no record of consumer protection or holding big banks, predatory lenders, and other financial scammers accountable.  She has repeatedly refused to answer even the most basic questions about her record.  She has repeatedly refused to offer her views on pressing consumer financial issues. She has repeatedly refused to release documents that could shed light on her work in the Trump administration. The mission of the CFPB is far too important to be put in the hands of someone who lacks candor and experience at such a fundamental level,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “Why are Republican Senators prioritizing Kathy Kraninger’s confirmation during this lame-duck session of Congress when there are still so many unanswered questions about her qualifications and record? Political payback, plain and simple. These Senators have taken millions in campaign cash from the very industries regulated by the CFPB and they trust Kraninger’s commitment to continue Mick Mulvaney’s anti-consumer agenda. More than anything, they do not want someone leading the CFPB who will aggressively protect the interests of consumers from the likes of Wells Fargo, Equifax, payday lenders, and other financial bad actors.” 

The Serious Problems With Kraninger’s Nomination:

  • Republicans Argued Against Lame-Duck Confirmation Votes During The Obama Presidency. Republicans Sought To Delay Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Confirmation During The 2014 Lame-Duck Session. “With Nov. 4 midterm elections potentially tipping the balance in the Senate, some Republicans immediately called for a delay in the hearings and votes on the new attorney general until January, when the possibility of a GOP majority in the Senate might give Republicans almost total control of the outcome…Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) issued a political call to arms for conservatives, saying that outgoing senators should not vote on the nominee during the post-election lame-duck session.” [Paul Kane and Juliet Elperin, “Attorney general confirmation process is fractious even before it’s begun,” The Washington Post, 09/25/14] 
  • Kathy Kraninger Has No Relevant Experience Working On Consumer Protection Issues. Kathy Kraninger only began working as an associate director at OMB last year, after Mulvaney took over. Kraninger “previously worked for the Department of Homeland Security and the Senate Appropriations Committee,” on the Homeland Security Subcommittee. Her nomination to lead the CFPB raised “concerns among Democrats, especially because of the lack of financial policy expertise in her background.” [Elizabeth Dexheimer, Robert Schmidt, and Jennifer Jacobs, “Trump Favors Little-Known Official to Be Next CFPB Chief,” Bloomberg, 06/15/18].
  • During A 2007 Congressional Hearing, Kraninger Was Unable To Confirm If Civil Rights Legend And Congressman John Lewis Could Ever Get His Name Fully Removed From The Terrorist Watch List Databases. Despite Congressman Lewis raising concerns as early as 2004, Kraninger was unable to confirm if anything could be done for him saying, “we cannot promise that his issue is indeed […] fixed” and instead blamed airlines for how they use the list. As of 2004, Lewis had already been stopped 35-40 times at airport security.[Testimony of Kathleen Kraninger, “The Progress and Pitfalls of the Terrorist Watchlist,” Hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, 11/08/07; Ted Barrett, “Kennedy has company on airline watch list,”com, 08/20/04].
  • Then During Her Actual CFPB Confirmation Hearing, Kraninger Stonewalled Senators And Refused To Comment On Anything Substantive About Her Work For The Trump Administration. “Kathy Kraninger, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, repeatedly dodged questions from Senate Democrats on Thursday about issues facing the watchdog agency and her involvement in the administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy.” [Renae Merle,” Trump CFPB nominee grilled by Senate Democrats,” The Washington Post, 07/19/18].
  • When Questioned By Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kraninger Refused To Even Characterize What Categories Or Types Of Advice She Gave At OMB. [Nomination Hearing, Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, 07/19/18].

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