March 6, 2019
Trump’s Consumer Financial Protection Chief Faces Pivotal Moment
Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
Note: Kathleen Kraninger, director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will deliver the semi-annual status report on the agency in hearings March 7 and 12 before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services and U.S. Senate Banking committees, respectively. Congress created the CFPB following an epidemic of predatory leading that contributed to the financial crash of 2008. President Donald Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney to serve as interim director before nominating Kraninger.
It’s not too late for Kathy Kraninger to reverse the destruction of one of the Obama administration’s hallmark achievements: the payday lending rule to protect consumers.
Public Citizen was profoundly disappointed that Kraninger continued the efforts of Mick Mulvaney, by formally proposing to scrap protections for loan shark victims last month. Ideally, expert interrogation from congressional overseers will help her better understand the dangers of this policy change and convince her to retain the protections. Congress also must press Kraninger on the importance of the public consumer complaint data base, data collection that reveals discriminatory lending and enforcement policies that repay the victims of financial scams.
The many Washington enablers of the 2008 financial crash can attest to the fact that there is no lasting honor in serving Wall Street. History has rightly counted those who did so as rogue plutocrats who enabled the second Gilded Age. Kraninger should respect Congress’ mandate and dedicate herself to protecting consumers.