The first nominee is Ms. Kathleen Laura Kraninger, of Ohio,
who has been nominated as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau (CFPB). The second is Ms.
Kimberly A. Reed, of West Virginia, who has been nominated to be the
President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EX-IM).
Leading up to the 19 July hearing,
Senate Committee Democrats called on Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) to postpone the
hearing over having not yet received a response to their request to the
administration for relevant documents pertaining to Kraninger’s work in her
position of Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The
hearing proceeded on the originally scheduled date. The next step in the
confirmation process is for the Committee to schedule a vote on the
Kraninger was well received by
Republican members of the Committee and faced criticism from Democrat members.
Kraninger specifically faced concerns with her assumed involvement with the Trump
Administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy as well as the disaster
relief response to Puerto Rico in her role at OMB. In the hearing, Kraninger pledged
to establish four initial priorities for CFPB if confirmed including ensuring fairness
of the bureau, working closely with other financial regulators and states on
supervision and enforcement, protecting sensitive data, and remaining
accountable to the American people. If confirmed, Kraninger would replace
acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney.
In December 2017, Reed was voted in on
a bipartisan basis as First Vice President of EX-IM. Reed maintains that
overwhelming support on both sides of the dais for her current nomination for
President of EX-IM. In the hearing, Reed promised to hold review to ensure that
EX-IM is truly being used as a bank of last resort. Reed announced that she plans
to work with Congress and the Administration in order to address China’s biased
trade policies. Reed also pledged that she would do all that she can to reduce
waste, fraud and abuse within the bank. If confirmed, Reed would replace acting
EX-IM President Jeffrey Gerrish.
Reed was well received on a
non-partisan basis. Kraninger received some pointed questions and disapproving
comments throughout the hearing from the Committee Democrats. Chairman Crapo
(R-ID) voiced support for both Reed and Kraninger. The Senate Committee Ranking
Member verbally supported Reed’s nomination and believes she is well qualified
for the position. Kraninger did not receive such support from Ranking Member
Brown (D-OH) who questioned her previous work in her position at OMB and her
ability to perform as Director of CFPB.
Related: U.S. CFPB Concludes RESPA Investigation of Zillow Co-Marketing
The relocation of a transferee often
involves the sale and/or purchase of a home and thus the policies and practices
involving real estate directly impact Worldwide ERC® members. The CFPB Director
has enormous powers with little oversight from Congress and thus the policy
positions of a specific individual as director determines the direction of the
Bureau. Under OMB Director Mulvaney, the CFPB has taken the position to enforce
consumer protection laws but to not “push the envelope”.
Related: Mulvaney Continues to Shape U.S. CFPB
The Export-Import Bank provides loans
to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods and services in transactions which would
otherwise potentially not receive financing. The transactions can result in the
need to relocate employees either to the U.S. or abroad.
President Trump sent the nomination of
former Representative Garrett to be the President of the Board of the
Export-Import Bank on 19 June 2017. Export-Import Bank nominee, former
Representative Scott Garrett, testified on November 1 before the Senate
Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs as part of his confirmation
process. As a Congressman, Garrett (R-NJ) had called for the elimination of the
Export-Import Bank. When questioned by Senators about his position on the Bank,
Garrett stated his reversal in position and reiterated statements he has made
since being nominated that he now supports the role of the Bank. President
Trump had also made statements during his campaign which indicated he was not
supportive of the mission of the Export-Import Bank. However, he made
statements in April in conjunction of the nominations of Garrett that he no
longer wanted to see the Bank eliminated.
Former Congressman Garrett’s
nomination was rejected on 19 December 2017 by the Senate Banking, Housing and
Urban Affairs Committee in a 10-13 vote.
The Export-Import Bank provides
financing, loan guarantees and insurance to companies for exporting goods and
services overseas in situations where financing is otherwise unavailable due to
geopolitical or other concerns. The Board of the Bank is comprised of five
members. With three of those seats
currently vacant, the Bank has not been able to fund deals worth more than $10
million due to a lack of quorum.