President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held her own during intense questioning by Democratic Senators on Thursday (July 19). According to Reuters, Kathy Kraninger seems to be on track to secure a confirmation vote that could come this month.
That’s despite the grilling Kraninger endured from Democratic lawmakers, who questioned her role in the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, as well as whether she had relevant experience to lead the CFPB. However, Kraninger managed to keep her cool, which increased her odds of being confirmed, said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Washington-based Compass Point Research & Trading.
“We believe the odds of Ms. Kraninger securing confirmation have increased, given her avoidance of a debilitating gaffe, but her confirmation is not yet certain,” he added.
Kraninger is a senior official at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In opening remarks, she said she would work to improve CFPB processes, including weighing rules more carefully and better managing spending, while also taking “aggressive action against bad actors who break the rules.”
Though Kraninger said she had no role in the immigration policy that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents, she did admit to attending meetings about implementing the policy, which Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren called a “moral stain” on her character. Democrats also quizzed Kraninger on her familiarity with consumer law, forcing the nominee to reveal she had no direct experience investigating or bringing legal actions against financial firms.
“We want somebody in that job who not only has core competency, but also some empathy,” said Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
However, despite the tough questions, Democratic Senator Jon Tester said he believed Kraninger would probably gain enough votes to be confirmed, but he needed more information to back her.
“You’re going to be leading this agency. Your recommendations are going to count for something. And so it would be really helpful for me to know, if I’m going to vote for you or not vote for you, where you’re at,” he said.