On June 16, the Trump administration announced the nomination of Kathleen Kraninger, an Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP). On Thursday, Kraninger appeared before the Senate Banking Committee to answer some tough questions during a hearing on her nomination to lead the Bureau.
She appeared before the Committee along with Kimberly A. Reed, who is nominated to lead the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Even before the hearing, Kraninger's nomination was highly debated with some of the Senate Banking Committee members, led by Ranking Committee Member Sen. Sherrod Brown, writing to Senator Mike Crapo, Chair of the Senate Banking Committee requesting him to postpone the hearing until documents that they had asked from the Trump administration on Kraninger were provided.
“A number of members of this Committee have requested relevant documents and other information from the Trump Administration in advance of Thursday’s nominations hearing,” the letter said. “To date, the Administration has not responded to these requests. If we do not receive responsive information in time to review it before Thursday’s hearing, we will not be able to conduct the kind of oversight and questioning that allows the Senate to perform its constitutional role of providing advice and consent.”
The hearing on Thursday kicked off with Crapo giving his reply to the letter. “With respect to Ms. Kraninger, some senators have requested a long list of documents, including, emails, schedules, involvement in memos, White House communications, etc., relating to Ms. Kraninger’s role at OMB with respect to the Administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ and the Administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico,” Crapo said. “These requests are designed to go after certain extraneous Administration policies that the requesters do not like, and go far beyond the practice of this committee’s document production. Indeed, I would not expect this Administration or any administration to release documents related to an ongoing deliberative process.”
“It is my hope that, if confirmed, Ms. Kraninger will be more accountable to senators on this Committee than Director Cordray was,” Crapo added. “I look forward to vigorous debate and vote on the nominees.”
In a Q&A that lasted longer than expected, members of the committee asked some difficult questions related to her role at the OMB as well as what one could expect from her if she was confirmed as the Director of BCFP.
During her testimony, Kraninger hinted at pursuing a similar path as the current Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. She said that she had four initial priorities for the Bureau if confirmed as Director The first priority she said would be to make the Bureau “fair and transparent.”
Secondly, Kraninger intends for BCFP to work closely with other financial regulators and the States on supervision and enforcement. Third, she said, “The Bureau must recognize its profound duty to the American people to protect sensitive information in its possession.”
And lastly, she said that she would look at making the Bureau “accountable to the American people for its actions, including its expenditure of resources.”
The committee is set to vote on confirming her nomination in the week of July 31. Click here to view the hearing.
Learn more about Kathy Kraninger's nomination: