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Americans Deserve a Consumer Financial Protection Hero. Kraninger Is a Zero.

July 18, 2018

Americans Deserve a Consumer Financial Protection Hero. Kraninger Is a Zero.

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee is expected to consider Kathy Kraninger, President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve a five-year term as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Kraninger currently serves as associate director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Her boss, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, is the temporary acting director of the CFPB.

When it comes to consumer financial protection, Kathy Kraninger is a zero. After Mick Mulvaney’s disastrous tenure at the CFPB siding with Wall Street banks and financial fraudsters, Americans deserve a hero.

With no background in financial law, financial issues in general or consumer protection, Kraninger lacks the experience to be the nation’s leading guardian of consumers who face a jungle of financial predators. At this point, it’s likely that the tens of millions of Americans who were defrauded by Wells Fargo, had their data stolen in the Equifax hack or have been ripped off by their credit card companies have more insight into the CFPB’s consumer financial protection mission than Kraninger does.

Senators must forcefully demand answers from Kraninger: How can someone with personal loyalty to Mulvaney and who has no knowledge of, experience with or even demonstrated interest in the CFPB’s mission run an agency that by law is supposed to be independent from the Trump administration? In addition, senators must ask Kraninger about the failed oversight of the botched Puerto Rico hurricane recovery effort and the inhumane child caging policy at the borders. Public Citizen supports calls to postpone this confirmation hearing until these mismanagement issues are explained in detail.

With this nominee, senators face a horrible dilemma: either approve a pawn of Trump, Mulvaney and financial industry predators, starting the clock now on a grim five-year term, or risk starting the clock later with a different nominee who’s even worse. Either way, Americans lose.