The Latest: Watchdog nominee approves of Mulvaney approach

July 19, 2018 - 11:00 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the confirmation hearing for Kathy Kraninger (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

The Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents who crossed the border illegally has become a central topic at a hearing over Kathy Kraninger's nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Kraninger's current role at the White House is a mid-level bureaucrat in the Office of Management and Budget, overseeing budget requests at the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. The DHS is responsible for implementing the administration's immigration policies.

In response to a question from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who asked for Kraninger's opinion on the Trump child separation policy, she said "It is not appropriate to give my opinion."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also asked Kraninger about her role at OMB regarding the immigration policy.

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11:40 a.m.

Kathy Kraninger approves of the job that her boss, Mick Mulvaney, has been doing at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In response to a question from Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, Kraninger said "I would say yes" when asked whether she approves of Mulvaney's work at the bureau.

President Trump last month nominated Kraninger to run the CFPB. She is appearing Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee.

Mulvaney has been the acting director of the CFPB since November, and has been rolling back many Obama-era policies.

Mulvaney is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget, where Kraninger currently works.

At Thursday's hearing, Kraninger has given mostly non-answers to Democrats questions about her position on issues such as payday lending, enforcement and rule-making.

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11:20 a.m.

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee have different opinions on whether Kathy Kraninger's work experience qualifies her to run the nation's consumer financial watchdog.

Kraninger, 43, was a relatively unknown mid-level bureaucrat working inside the Office of Management and Budget, overseeing roughly $250 billion in federal government programs, before being nominated by President Trump last month to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said Thursday he has "utmost confidence" that Kraninger's "diversity of public service experience" has prepared her to run an agency charged with protecting consumers from financial fraud.

But Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Kraninger will likely follow the approach of Mick Mulvaney, the acting head of the CFPB, who has made the agency much friendlier toward the financial industry.

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10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump's nominee to take over the nation's consumer financial watchdog agency is appearing before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.

The hearing for Kathy Kraninger is expected to be contentious along partisan lines.

Trump nominated Kraninger on June 18 to replace Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, who has been acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since late November.

Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, say Kraninger, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Office of Management and Budget, is ill-equipped to run the CFPB, which is charged with protecting consumers from bad behavior by banks, credit card companies and payday lenders.

Republicans say Kraninger's experience arranging programs for large government agencies qualifies her to run the CFPB.

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