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Trump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief

Trump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief
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President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE will nominate Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official Kathy Kraninger to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the White House said Saturday.

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters confirmed Trump’s choice of Kraninger, an associate director at OMB, in a Saturday statement.

Kraninger would take the reins of the politically polarizing consumer watchdog agency that Republicans have long fought to weaken. 

Walters said the little-known budget official “will bring a fresh perspective and much-needed management experience to the [bureau], which has been plagued by excessive spending, dysfunctional operations, and politicized agendas."

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Kraninger would replace White House budget director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE, the OMB chief who has served as the CFPB’s acting director since November. Trump's decision to nominate Kraninger was first reported by Bloomberg.

While she has little apparent experience with financial regulation, the White House said Kraninger is "a staunch supporter of free enterprise" that will "ensure that consumers and markets are not harmed by fraudulent actors.

Kraninger is seen as a politically safe choice who would continue to ease the CFPB’s policing of the financial services industry. Even so, she will likely to face a lengthy confirmation process as the Senate sprints to finish must-pass legislation and approve a slew of federal judges before November's midterm elections.

Mulvaney's term as acting CFPB director ends Thursday, but he is allowed under federal personnel rules to lead the bureau until the his successor's confirmation. The acting chief is expected to stay at the CFPB for several months longer as the Senate mulls Kraninger's nomination.

If confirmed, Kraninger will serve a five-year term as CFPB director, armed with broad authority over the bureau's regulation and oversight of U.S. banks, lenders and financial services companies.

Republicans have tried to upend the powerful agency created by the Dodd-Frank Act to snuff out predatory lending and abusive financial products.

The CFPB was the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMark Cuban: ProPublica 'not being honest' about taxes on wealthy On The Money: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure | New report reignites push for wealth tax New report reignites push for wealth tax MORE (D-Mass.), designed to be an imposing and independent watchdog armed with extensive regulatory and enforcement power.

Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayBiden administration reverses Trump-era policy that hampered probes of student loan companies On The Money: IRS to start monthly payments of child tax credit July 15 | One-fourth of Americans took financial hits in 2020: Fed Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE, the former Ohio attorney general who served as the bureau’s first director, delighted Democrats and enraged Republicans with his aggressive oversight of the financial sector.

The CFPB became vulnerable to Republicans for the first time when Cordray resigned in November 2017 to run for Ohio governor. Cordray’s departure allowed Trump to appoint Mulvaney, the White House budget director, as acting CFPB chief.

Kraninger's nomination won praise from financial services lobbyists that wanted Trump to choose a moderate manager to lead the bureau.

Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers of America, said Kraninger is "an experienced manager, has the necessary budgetary knowledge, and can serve as a steady hand shepherding the Bureau."

“The Bureau has been a political pawn for too long," Hunt said.

Liberal nonprofits that were aligned with the CFPB under Cordray blasted Kraninger's nomination as power grab by Mulvaney.

“This is 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.

Updated at 6:12 p.m.