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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, August 23, 2018

Banking committee approves CFPB director nomination on party-line vote

By Richard A. Roth, J.D.

The nomination of Kathleen Kraninger to be the second Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director has been approved by the Senate Banking Committee on a 13-to-12 party line vote. Kraninger will take over as CFPB director if she is, as expected, confirmed by a vote of the full Senate.

Senators’ statements ahead of the vote also hewed to party lines. Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said that Kraninger had significant experience in the budget and appropriations processes, and he expressed complete confidence in her ability to lead the Bureau. Crapo added that it was not surprising that the confirmation processes for Kraninger and for the first CFPB director, Richard Cordray, were contentious, since "The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection was the most polarizing part of Dodd-Frank."

On the other hand, committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), strongly attacked both Kraninger’s qualifications and intentions. He asserted that, unlike the other five individuals whose nominations were up for votes on the same day, she has no relevant finance or consumer protection experience. Brown said she has made clear her intent to continue down the path of current Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney who, in Brown’s eyes, has favored financial service providers and backed away from the Bureau’s consumer protection and enforcement duties.

Brown also attacked Kraninger’s actions in her current position, Associate Director for General Government at the Office of Management and Budget, as well as her failure to produce documents relating to her decisions.

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