The nominations for Kathy Kraninger to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) and Michael Bright to head Ginnie Mae was confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee today. Both the nominations now move to the Senate for a further vote to confirm them to these posts.
While Kraninger's nomination was passed with a close vote of 12-11, Bright's nomination received a majority vote of the committees.
Speaking to open to executive session, Committee Chair Mike Crapo said that if confirmed, the nominees would play an important role in "supporting our financial system, protecting consumers, overseeing the market for consumer financial products and services, or facilitating global trade of U.S. goods and services."
Kraninger was nominated by President Trump in May to head the consumer watchdog and if confirmed, she would take up the responsibilities currently being handled by Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director, BCFP. Her nomination has been a contentious one from the start, with senators especially pointing out to her lack of experience to handle the responsibilities of the Bureau. At a banking committee hearing in July, members of the committee had asked some difficult questions related to her role at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where she currently serves as an Associate Director. They also asked what one could expect from her if she was confirmed as the Director of BCFP.
If confirmed as Director of the BCFP, Kraninger had said that she would, “focus solely on serving the American people.”
During her testimony, Kraninger hinted at pursuing a similar path as the current Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. She said that she had four initial priorities for the Bureau if confirmed as Director. The first priority she said would be to make the Bureau “fair and transparent.”
Secondly, Kraninger intends for BCFP to work closely with other financial regulators and the States on supervision and enforcement. Third, she said, “The Bureau must recognize its profound duty to the American people to protect sensitive information in its possession.”
And lastly, she said that she would look at making the Bureau “accountable to the American people for its actions, including its expenditure of resources.”
Bright's nomination, on the other hand, has proceeded smoothly. Nominated to head Ginnie Mae in May, Bright had said that he intended to continue Ginnie Mae’s ongoing work to strengthen and modernize the agency as well as ensuring that the security of the FHA, VA, and USDA loans it oversees to ensure better security price and lower rates for borrowers of these loans.
“Between the work we have done administratively at Ginnie as well as the language recently passed into law, we have taken a major step towards rooting out behavior that was threatening the very viability of the Ginnie security, and thereby threatening the viability of the VA, USDA, and FHA programs we support,” Bright said. “We will not tolerate this behavior, and we now know that Congress stands with us. Collectively, our efforts are working. We can already see that in the form of a better security price, which directly translates into lower rates for FHA, VA, and USDA borrowers.”
Read more about Kathy Kraninger and Michael Bright's nominations: