Political News

Mulvaney Is Said to Want Deputy to Succeed Him at CFPB

Posted June 15, 2018 8:17 p.m. EDT

Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director and acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has picked a deputy at the budget office, Kathy Kraninger, to succeed him at the consumer watchdog agency, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Kraninger, who oversees the preparation of the budgets for several Cabinet departments, was selected over the objection of some officials inside the White House, who argued that her relative inexperience — and association with Mulvaney — could scuttle her nomination.

The appointment is likely but not yet final, the officials said. Kraninger, a graduate of Marquette University and Georgetown Law School, specialized in homeland security matters before joining Mulvaney’s staff at the Office and Management and Budget in March 2017.

She surmounted a key hurdle last week when a member of the National Economic Council staff, Andrew Olmem, signed off on her nomination, people close to the situation said.

President Donald Trump tapped Mulvaney to oversee the consumer bureau late last year, giving the brash former South Carolina lawmaker a mandate to dismantle the agency, which was created in the wake of the financial crisis to help protect consumers against financial company abuse.

Kraninger, 43, has spent much of her career on Capitol Hill, including serving as the clerk for the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security and working with the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Since his appointment, Mulvaney has tried to weaken the bureau’s enforcement and investigative activities, including its policing of payday lending, student lending and consumer finance.

Critics said the selection of a protégé was a way for Mulvaney to keep his grip on the consumer agency.

“This looks like nothing more than a desperate attempt by Mick Mulvaney to maintain his grip on the CFPB so he can continue undermining its important consumer protection mission on behalf of the powerful Wall Street special interests and predatory lenders that have bankrolled his career,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, a consumer group that has been critical of Mulvaney.

One administration official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said Mulvaney had picked Kraninger because she was seen as more palatable, particularly to Democrats, than another candidate, Todd J. Zywicki, a conservative professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

Kraninger’s possible appointment was reported earlier Friday by Bloomberg News.

A call to Mulvaney’s spokesman was not immediately returned.