- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A conservative free-enterprise group urged the Senate Wednesday to confirm Kathleen Kraninger as the new head of the federal Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

Officials at the Competitive Enterprise Institute said Ms. Kraninger is opposed to the policies of “regulation by enforcement” of the bureau’s first director, Obama appointee Richard Cordray.

“The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection director is an immensely important position,” said CEI policy analyst Daniel Press. “Not only does the bureau have the authority to regulate nearly every consumer financial product in the economy, but the director has enormous unilateral power in writing and enforcing those rules.”

The Senate is tentatively expected to vote on her nomination on Thursday.

The Senate Banking Committee approved her nomination in August on a party-line vote. Democratic opponents of the nominee said she has no experience in consumer protection or the banking industry.

She holds a mid-level White House position as associate director for general government at the Office of Management and Budget and her background has been largely in Homeland Security.

Ms. Kraninger is an official in the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she oversees spending at five agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security. She previously served as deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS in the George W. Bush administration.

The nominee is viewed as a protege of OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, who has been serving as acting director of the consumer bureau since November 2017. The president tapped Mr. Mulvaney for the interim post after the resignation of Richard Cordray, the consumer bureau’s first director who was viewed by Republicans as an activist regulator.

Mr. Cordray tried to install his deputy, Leandra English, as his successor. But the White House put Mr. Mulvaney in charge, prompting a legal challenge from Ms. English, who resigned and eventually dropped her lawsuit.

Mr. Cordray went on to run as the Democratic nominee for governor of Ohio, but lost earlier this month to Republican Mike DeWine.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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