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Senate votes to advance Trump consumer bureau pick

The Senate voted Thursday to advance President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoaquín Castro: Trump would be 'in court right now' if he weren't the president or 'privileged' Trump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference Comey reveals new details on Russia probe during House testimony MORE’s controversial pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) toward a final confirmation vote next week.

Senators voted 50-49, along party lines, to end debate on Kathy Kraninger’s nomination to be the next CFPB director, with no Democrats supporting her. Kraninger is likely to be confirmed next week after a contentious Senate floor debate over her selection.

Trump in June chose Kraninger, an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to lead the CFPB. Kraninger’s boss, OMB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — The political currents that will drive the shutdown showdown On The Money: Markets roiled by trade tensions | Rally on hopes of Fed pause on rate hikes | Senate sends two-week spending measure to Trump | Consumer bureau pick confirmed | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 Senate confirms Kraninger to lead consumer bureau in partisan vote MORE, has served as the CFPB’s acting chief for a year as of Tuesday.

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Kraninger is on track to get a five-year term leading the consumer watchdog agency with broad independence and power to police to financial sector. She’s pledged to make the agency less costly and burdensome on the firms it oversees, but has shed little light on her agenda.

Kraninger is a little-known budget official that oversaw policy implementation at several Cabinet departments, including the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. Her selection to lead a financial regulatory agency surprised bureau-watchers who had expected a more familiar figure.

Democrats have seized on her connections to Mulvaney, who has drastically restrained the CFPB’s legal actions, and her lack of apparent experience with financial regulation. Liberal critics also blasted her for the Trump administration’s family separation policy, which was carried out by departments under her watch at OMB.

Kraninger said that she had "no role in setting" the zero tolerance immigration policy, but declined to explain her role in implementing it. 

“She has no experience in banking or finance or consumer protection," said Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDeval Patrick announces he will not run for president in 2020, citing 'cruelty of election process' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — Congress to act soon to avoid shutdown On The Money: Trump touts China actions day after stock slide | China 'confident' on new trade deal | GM chief meets lawmakers to calm anger over cuts | Huawei CFO arrested MORE (D-Ohio) of Kraninger, his former intern, in a Thursday speech. "Her one and only qualification: She will be a rubber stamp for special interests.”

Senate Democrats are expected to lay into Kraninger in a series of floor speeches leading to the final vote, but  Kraninger appears to be safe for confirmation despite unanimous Democratic opposition.

Republicans quickly united around Kraninger as Mulvaney privately rallied their support, touting her as the ideal manager to reign in the CFPB.

The GOP and financial sector advocates say the CFPB had overstepped its mandate and abused its power under Democratic leadership, while Democrats accuse Republicans of gutting the agency to protect shady lenders.