Kraninger Sworn in at CFPB as Waters Decries Weakened Enforcement

After her confirmation last week in the United States Senate, Kathleen L. Kraninger was sworn in as the new, full-time director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Monday afternoon. She made her “media debut” on Tuesday, answering questions from the press on her first full day on the job. Meanwhile, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) – currently the ranking member of the Republican-controlled House Financial Services Committee – has been nominated to the position of committee chair when Democrats take control of the House in January, 2019.

Following her nomination Monday evening to the role of committee chair by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, Waters issued a statement looking forward to driving a new agenda in the 116th Congress.

“As Chairwoman, I will continue to prioritize protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices, ensuring strong safeguards are in place to prevent another financial crisis, expanding and supporting affordable housing opportunities, encouraging responsible innovation in financial technology, promoting diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector and ensuring that hard working Americans and small businesses have fair access to the financial system and opportunities to thrive,” she said.

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Prior to Director Kraninger’s first media session, House Democrats on the Financial Services committee issued another statement from Waters which condemned a CFPB proposal for a “no-action letter” policy to reduce enforcement, one of the final proposals of acting director Mick Mulvaney’s leadership of the agency.

“This is yet another step to weaken the Consumer Bureau and curtail its enforcement tools,” Waters said.

Tuesday afternoon, Kraninger took the podium at the CFPB offices in Washington, D.C. to answer questions from the press, and expressed a desire to work with members of Congress. Kraninger also commented on Rep. Waters’ statement of condemnation on the “no-action letter” policy proposal, as well as a question asking how she would respond to potential requests to testify before the Democratic-led Financial Services Committee.

“I absolutely look forward to talking with Congresswoman Waters,” Kraninger began. “I want to have a productive relationship with Congress. I think they’re a critical stakeholder, I’ve served many members of Congress in my career, and I think it’s an important part of a federal agency’s responsiveness to the American people. They’re the representatives of the American people, and we should be held accountable.”

Kraninger also revealed that she hopes to meet with Waters imminently. She also said that she will speak at some point with inaugural CFPB director Richard Cordray. “In just about every job that I’ve had, I’ve talked to my predecessors,” she said. “So, I expect that to happen.”

Written by Chris Clow