Trump taps budget official to head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Trump intends to nominate Kathy Kraninger to lead the government's consumer watchdog agency

The White House said on Saturday that President Donald Trump will pick Kathy Kraninger, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official, to head the USA consumer watchdog, drawing criticism from consumer advocates and dividing conservatives.

Kraninger "will bring a fresh perspective and much-needed management experience to the [agency], which has been plagued by excessive spending, dysfunctional operations, and politicized agendas", Lindsay Walters, the White House deputy press secretary, said in a statement.

President Donald Trump tapped Mulvaney to oversee the consumer bureau late a year ago, giving the brash former SC lawmaker a mandate to dismantle the agency, which was created in the wake of the financial crisis to help protect consumers against financial company abuse.

The post is now held by interim director Mick Mulvaney, who also leads the Office of Management and Budget, where Kraninger is an associate director.

Since then, Mulvaney has steered the bureau in a more industry-friendly direction.

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She surmounted a key hurdle last week when a member of the National Economic Council staff, Andrew Olmem, signed off on her nomination, people close to the situation said.

Trump appointed Mulvaney, who also runs the OMB where he works closely with Kraninger, as temporary head of the CFPB in November to replace Richard Cordray, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. Kraninger is now the associate director at OMB.

Mulvaney has been praised by Republican lawmakers for reining in an agency they saw as unaccountable, while liberals led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have accused him of dismantling the bureau and putting consumers at risk.

As acting director, Mulvaney has conducted a top-to-bottom review of the agency's enforcement, supervisory and rule-making functions. He's frozen data collection in the name of security, dropped enforcement cases, and directed staff to slash next year's budget. The White House now calls the bureau the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, instead of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Kraninger is a 2007 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, according to her LinkedIn profile, and before that graduated from Marquette University.

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