Who is Kathy Kraninger? Meet Trump's Expected Nominee for CFPB Director
On Friday, the 16th of June, media sources reported that President Trump intends to nominate Kathy Kraninger as Director of the recently renamed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (nonetheless, we'll continue referring to this agency as the CFPB).
Pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA), Acting Director Mick Mulvaney will continue to lead the Bureau until Kraninger (or, another nominee) is confirmed by the Senate. If the Senate doesn't confirm Kraninger's anticipated nomination, then Mulvaney can serve until mid-2020. If Trump doesn't select a nominee by the 22d of June (this Friday), then the FVRA, which has a 210-day limit for interim appointees, would bar Mulvaney from continuing to lead the CFPB (Mulvaney's service began on the 25th of November, when the resignation of Richard Cordray, the former CFPB Director, took effect). If Kraninger (or another individual) is nominated as CFPB Director, the FVRA clock will be reset for Mulvaney's interim appointment, and he'll be eligible to continue serving until the Senate withdraws, rejects, or returns, a candidate's nomination; if the Senate adjourns (tentative date: 14 December) without withdrawing or rejecting a candidate, then the nomination will be "returned" to Trump. Either of these events would trigger an FVRA reset and enable Mulvaney to serve an additional 210 days.
So, who is Kathy Kraninger? As Program Associate Director for General Government at the (likewise-Mulvaney-led) Office of Management and Budget (OMG) since March 2017, Kraninger oversees budget development for the DOJ, HUD, and the Treasury, among other agencies. Before her tenure at OMB, Kraninger held positions with the House Committee on Homeland Security, as well as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. She also worked in the Treasury and was Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Policy Secretary at Homeland Security. Kraninger graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007.
A Kraninger Directorship, provided her nomination is confirmed, would be expected to mirror Mulvaney’s example, i.e., she wouldn't use the CFPB’s power to engage in de facto “rulemaking by enforcement.” Her appointment wouldn't likely affect the CFPB's Spring 2018 rulemaking agenda, which oultined the Bureau's intent to reopen the final Payday loan rule, as well as the desire to introduce a third-party debt collection rule.
The most important component of Kraninger's nomination is not actually what she would do as Director. Rather, but for her or another individual's nomination, Mulvaney's actions post-22 June could be challenged as invalid under the FVRA 210-day rule: therefore, the most significant aspect of a nomination for CFPB Director is legitimizing Mulvaney's agenda going forward. Of specific interest is Mulvaney's anticipated move to stay the Payday Rule’s compliance date.