How should Kraninger run CFPB? Warren has some ideas
WASHINGTON — Kathy Kraninger, the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is likely hearing a lot of input from different parties about what to prioritize at the agency. On Thursday, it was Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s turn.
The Massachusetts Democrat and original CFPB architect butted heads with Kraninger’s predecessor, former acting Director Mick Mulvaney, who sought to reverse the policies of inaugural CFPB chief Richard Cordray, whom Warren had supported.
In an expansive letter dated Wednesday, Warren urged Kraninger to take immediate steps “to reverse the anti-consumer initiatives undertaken by Interim Director Mulvaney and to ensure that the CFPB adequately protects consumers.”
“Mr. Mulvaney did everything in his power to weaken and politicize the agency,” Warren wrote. “He filled the agency with political appointees, halted enforcement activity, decimated the agency's access to resources and data, and dismantled critical protections for students, servicemembers, and communities of color.”
For example, Warren implored Kraninger to remove more than a dozen political appointees that Mulvaney had hired to shadow career staff in key division roles, and to “reinvigorate” the agency’s enforcement unit.
Warren said her list of requested steps “can easily be in place or in progress” by Jan. 6, which will be one month after Kranginger was confirmed.
“During your Senate confirmation hearing, you stated that, if confirmed as the CFPB Director, you would ‘focus solely on serving the American people,’” she told Kraninger. “The steps identified in this letter would represent a strong step towards keeping that promise.”
Yet it is unclear how much weight Warren’s ideas will have with Kraninger, who previously reported to Mulvaney at the Office of Management at Budget. The new director has shown willingness to go her own way, such as her decision to drop Mulvaney’s efforts to change the CFPB’s name. But she has also indicated that she could adopt Mulvaney’s pro-market regulatory approach.
Here is a rundown of Warren’s recommended to-do list.