Elizabeth Warren blocks Trump’s pick for CFPB Director until release of Zero-Tolerance documents

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this highly cynical nomination.”

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Image Credit: Pete Marovic/Bloomberg/Getty Images

In response to President Donald Trump’s recent “Zero-Tolerance policy” that separates immigrant children from their parents, Sen. Elizabeth Warren vowed to block the president’s nominee for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director, Kathy Kraninger, until she discloses all documents related to her involvement in implementing Trump’s vile policy.

In a letter addressed to Kraninger, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, and Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee, wrote, “Since March 2017, you have served as the Program Associate Director for General Government Programs at the Office of Management and Budget. In that role, you oversee seven Executive Branch agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). That oversight role involves not only preparing the President’s annual budget request for those agencies, but also providing ‘ongoing policy and management guidance,’ ‘oversee[ing] implementation of policy options,’ and working with agencies throughout the year as they shift money to implement new legislation or Administration policy.

“On April 6, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a ‘Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry.’ That Zero-Tolerance Policy directed all U.S. attorneys who serve in districts along the U.S.-Mexico border to criminally prosecute all cases of attempted illegal entry or illegal entry that are referred by DHS. This policy has resulted in DHS tearing away more than 2000 children from their parents because children are not permitted in adult criminal detention facilities. The children are instead put into the custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. In contrast, when families are detained in immigration proceedings, they are typically held together.”

Although President Trump, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have repeatedly denied that these immigrant children are being used as political pawns, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Senior Advisor Stephen Miller have openly admitted deploying the separation of families as a deterrent against both legal and illegal immigration. While falsely blaming Democrats for creating the Zero-Tolerance policy, Trump has basically taken these children as hostages in a blatant attempt to fund his fictional border wall while distracting from allegations of Russian collusion, criminal acts committed by Trump’s associates and personal attorney, and potential fraud committed by the Trump Foundation.

Due to DHS Secretary Nielsen’s recent lies during a White House press conference, at least 10 Democratic legislators have called for her resignation, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Ted Lieu, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal. On June 17, Nielsen falsely tweeted, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

On Monday, Rep. Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement: “In his time at the Consumer Bureau, Mick Mulvaney has been doing everything in his power to roll back consumer protections, strip the agency of its resources and prioritize Wall Street at the expense of consumers. Since Mulvaney’s illegal appointment as Acting Director, he has dropped lawsuits and investigations into abusive payday lenders, taken away the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity’s enforcement powers, fired the members of the agency’s Consumer Advisory Board, scaled back enforcement actions against bad actors, requested reduced funding for the agency, and literally changed the name of the agency so that bureaucracy comes before consumers.

“Now Trump has nominated one of Mulvaney’s deputies at OMB to serve as Director of the agency. Given Ms. Kraninger’s apparent lack of qualifications for this role, it appears that her nomination may be less about securing her confirmation as Director, and more about allowing Mick Mulvaney to continue to operate as Acting Director, which this nomination will potentially allow him to do through 2020 if she is not confirmed.

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this highly cynical nomination.”

In addition to requesting a complete description of any role Kraninger played in OMB budgetary or policy decisions, analyses, or recommendations related to DOJ’s Zero-Tolerance policy, Sens. Warren and Sherrod also asked her to provide a list of meetings or phone calls she participated in and all emails and other documents related to her communications with DOJ, DHS, and White House officials related to the development and implementation of this policy. The senators concluded, “The American people deserve to know what role you have played in developing and implementing this appalling process.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Warren took to Twitter and wrote, “@realDonaldTrump’s nominee to run the @CFPB, Kathy Kraninger, has no track record of helping consumers. That’s bad news for seniors, servicemembers, students – and anyone else who doesn’t want to get cheated. And it gets even worse.”

Warren added, “Kathy Kraninger helps oversee the agencies that are ripping kids from their parents. Now @realDonaldTrump wants her to run the @CFPB. I will put a hold on her nomination – & fight it at every step – until she turns over all documents about her role in this. #FamiliesBelongTogether”

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