Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) verbally eviscerated Kathy Kraninger, President Donald Trump's "unqualified" nominee to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), during a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday in which her role in the administration's cruel child detention policy was a focus.
Unsatisfied with Kraninger's responses to questions about her role in implementing the Trump administration's "fundamentally immoral" policy of forcibly separating immigrant families—as an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—Warren declared: "You were part of it, Ms. Kraninger. It is a moral stain that will follow you for the rest of your life, and if the Senate votes to give a big promotion to you after this, then it is a stain on the senators who do so."
The senator posted her exchange with Kraninger on Twitter:
Innocent kids have been traumatized by the Trump Admin’s family separations. Kathy Kraninger played a role in that policy, but won't tell us what she did. And she refuses to say whether the policy is immoral.#FamiliesBelongTogether. Kraninger doesn't belong at the @CFPB. pic.twitter.com/B8DMW5XI3N
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 19, 2018
While Warren's hearing questions heavily focused on Kraninger's role in implementing the family separation policy, in a report released Wednesday detailing the nominee's "dismal management record," she expressed concerns about Kraninger's involvement with the Trump administration's "botched" response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria:
Kathy Kraninger has zero experience that qualifies her to run the @CFPB. My new report details her career “highlights” – including oversight of agencies responsible for the Trump Admin's child separation policy & botched recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. https://t.co/PCBFvbDlhT
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 18, 2018
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Warren—who is co-sponsoring legislation that aims to improve the federal government's ongoing recovery efforts in Puerto Rico—is far from alone in her worries about Kraninger's record.
Kraninger is currently helping oversee the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security at the OMB, where she answers to director Mick Mulvaney, who also has been serving as acting director of the CFPB. Critics have warned that Kraninger, if confirmed by the Senate, will continue Mulvaney's mission of gutting the agency that's meant to protect consumers from the financial industry's abuses.
Urging senators to reject Trump's nominee, Karl Frisch, executive director of the consumer watchdog Allied Progress, said in a statement, "Kraninger's career has been marked by far too many high-profile examples of mismanagement for her nomination to warrant serious consideration."
U.S. PIRG and 103 other groups representing consumers, small businesses, students, and workers have released a video which notes Kraninger's troubling record while also emphasizing that the agency director isn't the only threat to the CFPB. The groups warn that if Congress attempts to weaken or dismantle the CFPB, those lawmakers also must be held accountable.