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Report: Mulvaney Pushing Candidate Critics Say Is ‘Unqualified’ to Succeed Him at CFPB

Mick Mulvaney
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The New York Times reported on Friday that Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is pushing President Trump to name Kathy Kraninger, his deputy at the OMB, to head the controversial independent agency where his appointment as acting director is about to end due to statutory requirements.

“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,” according to the Times report.

“Ms. 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 Mr. Mulvaney — could scuttle her nomination,” the Times report continued.

Critics say that Kraninger is unqualified for the job. In addition, Federal Election Commission records confirm that Kraninger contributed to John Kasich’s campaign as late as April 2016, by which time President Trump was well on his way to securing the Republican presidential nomination.

According to FEC records, Kraninger contributed $250 to Kasich for America in April 2016, and another $250 in March 2016. In November 2015, she contributed $500 to the Jeb Bush campaign.

“If the rumors are true about a mid-level manager at OMB for CFPB director, then the White House is going down a dangerous path of Harriet Miers 2.0,” J.W. Verret, professor of Banking Law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law and former chief economist for the House Financial Services Committee under chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.

He adds:

I’m sure Ms. Kraninger is a great appropriations and budget person, but she has zero experience in financial regulation, much less consumer credit policy. In fact, this situation is worse than Harriet Miers because at least Ms. Miers was a lawyer and knew something about law when former President George W. Bush nominated her to become an associate justice of the Supreme Court back in 2005.

“Ms. Kraninger is simply unqualified to be the head of the CFPB because she has no experience in financial services or consumer credit,” Verret concludes.

President Bush nominated Miers, an attorney on his White House staff and a friend from Texas, to become Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in October 2005, but the nomination was withdrawn less than a month later after scorching criticism of her qualifications from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Bush nominated Samuel Alito instead for the position on the Supreme Court, and the Senate confirmed him in January 2006.

Kraninger, a 2007 graduate of Georgetown University’s Law School, has served as program associate director for general government at the OMB since March 2017.

Prior to that, she was “the Republican Clerk for the Subcommittee on Homeland Security at the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Before that, she served as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and in a similar position for the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security in the U.S. House of Representatives,” according to securitydebrief.com:

She was also as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy (Screening Coordination)/Director of the Screening Coordination Office at DHS, overseeing all facets of planning and implementing significant screening programs, such as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, Secure Flight, and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program. She also supported TSA checkpoint operations and policies, visa policy, and CIS transformation initiative. Kraninger also served as a Policy Advisor to DHS Secretary Ridge.

According to all publicly available information about Kraninger, she apparently has no professional or academic background in banking or credit regulation, the central job of the CFPB.

President Trump named Mulvaney as acting director of the CFPB in November.

As Breitbart News reported in January:

The CFPB was established as a virtually unaccountable independent agency in a constitutionally questionable provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act on the basis of disputed academic research on bankruptcies conducted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The agency has been involved in a number of controversies about regulations issued under the direction of its former head, Richard Cordray, who is now a Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio.

Cordray won his party’s primary and now faces Republican Mike DeWine in the November election for governor of Ohio.

Cordray attempted to override President Trump’s pick of Mulvaney as acting director of CFPB by picking his own deputy, Leandra English, for that role, but the federal courts slapped down Cordray’s efforts, and Mulvaney has handled both the OMB director position and the acting director of CFPB position since then.

In January, Mark McWatters, chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, was rumored to be under consideration for CFPB director, but that potential nomination was scuttled after objections to his qualifications and conservative credentials surfaced.

Bloomberg reported last week:

Mulvaney, speaking with reporters Tuesday, said he was recently told by White House Counsel Don McGahn that the Trump administration will adhere to a June 22 deadline for selecting a permanent CFPB director. Trump met with one of the finalists for the job last week, according to Mulvaney, who said he doesn’t know who the candidate was.

“Mulvaney may not be leaving anytime soon because it could take the Senate months to sign off on his successor. Speaking with journalists at a Tuesday press briefing, Mulvaney said he expects to remain at the CFPB until late 2018,” the Bloomberg report added.

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