tv Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Export- Import Bank Confirmations CSPAN July 19, 2018 10:05am-12:51pm EDT
i welcome both of you. and congratulations on your nominations to these important offices. i see friends and family here together with you today. and welcome them as well. the nominees before us are kathy kraninger to be the director of the bureau of consumer financial protection. and kimberly reed, to be the president of the export import bank of the united states. these positions are critically important to protecting consumers and the consumer financial products and services marketplace and facilitating global trades of the u.s. goods and services. these nominees bring years of valuable experience at nonprofits and in the public service. and will provide valued leadership in carrying out missions of their agencies. ms. kraninger has had a distinguished career in public service with exposure to a diverse set of federal agencies, as well as developing a particular expertise in the budget and appropriations processes. since march 2017, ms. kraninger has served as associate director
for general government, at the office of management and budget where she oversees and monitors approximately $250 billion in budgetary resources for numerous cabinet departments and federal agencies and has served as omb's principal policy official for issues involving the trshry department. and federal financial regulators, prior to joining omb she held leadership at positions at the department of transportation and the department of homeland security, as well as serving on the staff of congressional committees. given her depth and diversity of public service and experience, i have confidence that she'll well prepared to lead the bureau in enforcing federal consumer financial laws and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. ms. reed was considered by this committee last year as the nominee to serve as the first vice president of the export import bank and today we consider her nomination to be
its president. ms. reed also has had a distinguished career in public service, serving as senior adviser to former treasury secretaries paulson and snow. she has served on several congressional committees as hand held impressive leadership positions in the private sector. ms. reed is well positioned to help move the bank forward in a positive direction. with respect to ms. kraninger, some senators have requested a long list of documents including emails, schedules and involvement in memos, white house communications, et cetera. relating to ms. kraninger's role at omb with respect to the administration's zero tolerance policy and the administration's response to hurricane maria in puerto rico. these requests are designed to go after certain extraneous administration policies that the requests do not like. and go far beyond the practice of this committee in document production. indeed i would not expect this administration or any
administration to release documents related to its ongoing deliberative process and furthermore, my understanding is that ms. kraninger is not the custodian of these records and has given the request for information to the white house. as i've indicated, i don't have an expectation that the white house or the agencies involved will provide these documents, but that's an issue outside this nomination process. the democratic senators of this committee asked me to delay this hearing to seek these documents. i'm unaware of the banking committee delaying a hearing for such a reason. to be consistent, i have followed a similar timeline as the committee has set for then-nominee richard cordray in 2013. the senate received the nomination from the president on february 13, 2013. one moth later on march 12, 2013 the committee held a hearing to consider mr. cordray's nomination and voted the nominee
out of committee one week later. similarly, the senate received ms. kraninger's official nomination from the president on june 20, 2018. approximately one month later we were holding this hearing. she has provided all of the paperwork that the banking committee requires. the purpose of these hearings is to provide all senators of this committee the opportunity to ask questions of this nominee. i intend to ask ms. kraninger, who will be under oath about her policy at omb. other senators will be given a similar opportunity and follow up with questions for the record as we traditionally do. i take the senate's constitutional authority seriously. and am confident that ms. kraninger will be sufficiently vetted. as have our previous nominees for this committee to provide a recommendation to the full senate on this nomination. as a separate matter, many of us have experienced frustration with the bureau in previous years.
in april 2016, former bureau director cordray testified before this committee. senators on the committee sent questions for the record that same month. it took director cordray over 16 months to respond to this committee. it's my hope that if confirmed, ms. kraninger will be more accountable to senators on this committee than director cordray was. and i look forward today to a very vigorous debate and a vote on the nominees. senator brown? >> i think the chairman knows that that comparison is speci , specious, but i will get to that in a moment. thanks, welcome to the nominees, especially ms. kraninger who brought her ohio family with her. good to see you all. ms. reed, who also has some ohio ties, nice to see you, good to see you both. financial crisis started when greedy lenders lured families
into scam loans they could not afford. the whole enterprise was designed to transfer wealth upwards, stripping hard-earned home equity from the middle class, putting it in the pockets of shady lenders and with that, they were successful. i see that as members of this committee are familiar with, i see that every day. where i live in cleveland. and my wife and i live in zip code 44105, five or six miles from where ms. kraninger grew up. my zip code 44105 in 2007, the first half of that year, had more foreclosures than any zip code in the united states of america. and you know or should know what that does to families and to neighborhoods. behind all of those numbers were thousands upon thousands of painful conversations around kitchen tables, congress created the consumer financial protection bureau to prevent the need for those heartbreaking conversations ever again. like food inspectors, the cfpb hunts down scammers trying to
sneak toxic products back on to our kitchen tables. the consumer bureau isn't just a response to the last crisis, it's one of the most important tools we have to prevent the next crisis. though 2008 should have served as a wake-up call for watchdogs and ceos over the past six years, consumer bureau inspectors have still found plenty rotten in the banking industry. from 2012, to 2017, cfpb won $12 billion, 12,000 million, $12 billion in relief for 29 million americans. 12 billion reasons for wall street to hate the cfpb. lucky for them, lucky for wall street, they were able to install one of their own, mick mulvaney to head the bureau. he's dropped investigations, he's reduced meaningful settlements, to slaps on the wrist. now he wants his protege to run the agency. for months, i urged the administration to nominate someone to lead the cfpb, who had a track record, a track
record of working for consumers. unfortunately ms. kraninger has no experience whatsoever in consumer protection. mr. mulvaney argued she should be approved because of her management in budget experience. it's hard to see how that's enough. especially given the nominee's refusal to provide information requested by committee members. every one of us on this side of the dais wanted this hearing postponed until we got information about that experience. when the nominee and i met, she said it was out of her hands, she would try to get a response. that was over a week ago. still nothing. the letter was four weeks ago, the response was one week ago. what is the administration hiding? my republican colleagues are concerned about transparency and about accountability, and responsiveness, they should note this nominee's failure to reply to a simple request about her responsibilities and her current job. again, a request that was submitted four weeks ago.
the office of management and budget, she signed off on a $1.9 trillion tax break for millionaires. to pay for it she helped write a budget, she called it an aspirational document to me, that would triple the rent for families that are already struggling to get by. $1.9 trillion in tax cuts, 80% of those tax cuts over time go to the richest 1% and this administration with the approval of the designated to be head of cfpb is willing to triple the rates for families already struggling to get by. she's involved in the management of one disastrous policy after another. the botched response to hurricanes in puerto rico, has left american citizens, american citizens to fend for themselves, a housing policy that undoubtedly will increase homelessness. the administration's cruelest policy yet, separating children from their parents, at the border. i hope we will know more about the end of the hearing, these issues go to the heart of how
she will handle any new job. management is supposed to be ms. kraninger's one qualification. nobody wants mr. mulvaney out of cfpb faster than i do. but american consumers can't afford five years of someone who stands with the bankers and the administration and stands with the bankers and wall street. we need a cfpb director who will sit with hard-working families, at their kitchen tables. i know my republican colleagues are eager to move this nominee in spite of the administration's stonewall. i wish they showed a little of this kind of urgency when it comes to the jobs that have been put at risk by the failure to have a functional export/import bank. ms. reed has returned for her second appearance before the banking committee. our committee it voted overwhelmingly to support her nomination as first vice president last december. they're 109 export credit agencies and credit programs
around the world that support foreign manufacturers. but the u.s. has literally, has unilaterally and literally disarmed when it comes to helping exporters, the policy of some of our colleagues seem to be -- america last. it's been four years since the senate confirmed and xm nominee, leaving xm partially shut down for three years. american businesses have transactions worth more than $40 billion pending at the bank. yet there's been stonewall from this committee and this republican leadership for years. those deals and the resulting jobs will move overseas unless the bank's board is restored. if president trump and republicans are serious about helping american manufacturers, after three years of obstruction, there's no other word to describe it, they should urge the majority leader to schedule the reconsideration of ms. reed and the other xm board members immediately. since you brought it up at the end of your opening statement, i want to say one more thing.
the -- there is simply put new york city comparison to rich cordray in this process. 730 days passed between his nomination and his confirmation. july 18, 2011, to july 16, 2013. almost two full years. ms. kraninger was nominated one month ago. two years, one month comparison. mr. cordray, look at his qualifications, ohio attorney general, solicitor general, clerk for supreme court justice kennedy. argued in front of the supreme court six times, deep experience with consumer rights and civil rights laws. cordray's qualifications were never under question, but 44 republicans signed a letter saying they would support no one, no one to head the agency unless we changed the law to weaken the agency. cordray's first nomination died in the senatings, when he was renominated, even after having a clear track record at cfpb
republicans continued to oppose his nomination until we defanged the cfpb. that's what wall street wanted, so like one bird flying off the wire, they all fly off the wire. continue to side with wall street. to defang this agency. all we ask for, with ms. kraninger is a response to basic questions, regarding ms. kraninger's current job, so we can evaluate her management skills, which this nomination hangs on. again, it's not her work in consumer protection, it's her management skills, tell us more about those management skills. republicans held up mr. cordray for two years, demanding changes to the law before they would even consider a nomination. so the comparison between that process and this, mr. chairman, is specious. >> since you decided to go into that. i'll go into a further discussion of the document request. it's been described here today as a simple request. that goes into ms. kraninger's relationship to some of these
policies. the fact is it's a document request that goes into virtually every conceivable document related to the deliberative process, the budgeting process and the implementation concerning administration policies ranging from an immigration to hurricane relief. now we've had the tax code thrown in as well. ms. kraninger is not the custodian of these documents. she has forwarded this request to the white house. these document requests are obviously designed to go after various policies of the administration, with which the requesters disagree and go far beyond any precedent of this committee in what it requires of nominees. these requests seek to open up extensive document production in five different agencies, omb, doj, dhs, treasury and had you had. including also, the white house itself. this is a multifaceted battle with the president being played out in the context of this committee's nomination process. indeed, i would not expect this
administration or frankly any administration to release these types of documents related to its deliberative process. as i said before, ms. kraninger has provided all documents and information which this committee requires of nominees. and we will get answers from her today on the issues you said we needed to get information on. >> one more statement. we've never done this before. but i just kind of amazed by this. i'm sorry, mr. chairman, you have to explain the inexplicable in part of this trump white house that won't step up on this. if there's a claim, if there's a claim of deliberative process. the white house never has used that claim. they have never even responded to the letter. let alone any details, has she been willing to share with any of the members with whom she met one-on-one, including me. she also has not been willing, nor has the white house, to give us an answer to the letter, even if the answer is we claim deliberative process, so i just don't, hope the committee is not going to start acting like this. that the white house doesn't
have to answer letters, doesn't have to answer questions from members of the senate. >> it's unfortunate that the committee is starting to get into these kind of battle, too i'm discouraged by that and i hope this does not change the tenor of cooperation that we have on many other issues. i understand the importance of this nomination. i understand the long-term battle we've had over the cfpb and its leadership. and the bottom line is, i don't know, i, as i understand ms. kraninger has passed this document request on to the white house. there are processes by which we can all seek documents from agencies and the white house. and i assume you're engaged in that process now. that she has passed this document on. i don't know what their answer going to be. i don't know what their answer will be. that issue is an issue that goes beyond this nomination process. that's my point today. >> i just think there's no incentive for, we continue on their merry way, just like all of you on this committee, that
have spoken with justified outrage, particularly senator sasse and senator corker with the president's performance on monday night in moscow, or in helsinki. but there's never a consequence for this administration, because we all continue to do the administration's, all of you continue to do the administration's bidding, whether it's confirmation of ms. kraninger or whether it's passing confirming another judge. or whether it's passing another tax cut for rich people in this country. if the, why should the president change his behavior when there is never a price to pay? one price would be, let's not do this nomination until they actually give us an answer on some of these questions. >> like i said. i understand the bat that will you're having with the president on many issues. i don't agree with transporting that battle into this nomination process. and so today, we will proceed. >> would the witnesseses please rise? and raise your right hands,
please? do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? and also do you agree to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the senate if asked? >> i do. >> thank you, you may be seated. >> each of your written statements will be made part of this record in their entirety. before you begin your statements, as your turn comes, i invite to you introduce your family, who are here with you, if you would like to do so. sand ms. kraninger, we will start with you, you may please proceed. >> members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. it is a privilege to be here as the president's nominee, for the director of the bureau of consumer financial protection. i want to thank president trump for this honor and the confidence he's placed in me for with this nomination and i would like to express my deepest gratitude to my family and
friends who have joined me today. my parents, dave and pat as senator brown mentioned are from cleveland, ohio. my older brothers, dave and dan and their families have travelled from connecticut. my older brother matt and his family are watching online. i'm incredibly lucky to have an amazing family who has encouraged me in every endeavor and have taught me that hard work and dedication, with that, everything is possible in this country of ours. i'm also especially grateful for their steadfast support. as i have followed my call to public service and pursued a career serving the american people. my love for our country, its ideals and promise drives my commitment to public service. it sparked my interest in my university summer internship program where i worked for my hometown congressman, senator brown. it inspired my decision to join the peace corps and serve for two years overseas teaching in
the former soviet union. there i saw firsthand the devastating impact of communism, the economic consequences of central planning and the absence of free markets and the rule of law. following the attacks of september 11th, 2001, i felt the call even more deeply to serve our country in the time of need. i'm very proud to have served on the leadership teams at both the department you have transportation and homeland security during that extraordinarily challenging time for our nation. i've also been honored to serve three committees, congressional committees. including the senate appropriations committee under senator shelby's leadership. in my current position as associate director of the office of management and budget i've take an broader leadership role and i oversea 250 billion in budgetary resources and related policies for seven cabinet agencies and 30 other federal agencies, including the bureau,
any other financial regulators. throughout my career i've focused on implementing common-sense solutions to complex problems and delivering real value for the american people. while i will not prejudge and cannot predict every decision that will come before me, as director, if confirmed, i can assure you that i will focus solely on serving the american people. congress established the bureau for consumer financial protection to insure all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services that are fair, transparent and competitive. i am firmly committed to fulfilling that congressional mandate. to do so, i will establish four initial priorities. first, the bureau should be transparent and fair. insuring its actions empower consumers to make good choices and provide certainty for marketplace participants. in particular, the bureau should
make robust use of cost benefit analysis as required by congress. to facilitate competition, and provide clear rules of the road. in my experience, effective use of notice and comment rule make something session to proper balancing of all interests. it also enables consideration of tailoring to reduce the burden of compliance. particularly on consumers and smaller-place market participants. second, the bureau should work closely with other financial regulators in the states on supervision and enforcement. nothing is more destructive to competitive markets and consumer choice than fraudulent behavior. under my stewardship, the bureau will take aggressive action against bad actors. who break the rules by engaging in fraud and other illegal activity. third, the bureau must recognize its profound duty to the american people to protect the data in its possession. under my leadership, the bureau would limit data collection to only what is required under law
and is necessary to carry out its mission and insure that that data is protected. the issue needs more attention because consumers are unaware of the vulnerabilities they face and unsure what steps to take to protect themselves. fourth, the bureau must be accountable for its actions. including its expenditure of resources. as a former congressional staffer, i i appreciate the importance of overseeing this agency. i value the advice and perspectives you've shared with me in the meetings over the past month. conversations that i welcome going forward should i be confirmed in this important position. thank you for your consideration. >> thank you, ms. reed? >> chairman crapo, rarnging member brown, senators, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. thank you as well for this committee's favorable bipartisan vote to advance my previous nomination to serve as first vice president of the export import bank of the united states. i now return to you as the
president's nominee to serve as president of xm. a position that includes serving as chairman of the bank's board of directors, i thank president trump for his confidence in me to advance xm's mission. creating and supporting american jobs by facilitating the export of u.s. goods and services. if confirmed, i will be both the first woman and the first west virginian to be president and chairman of this 84-year-old institution. i also appreciate the encouragement and support of the president's national economic council chairman larry kudlow, and diverse organizations focused on american prosperity. i would like to recognize my father terry and sister ashley. i lost my mother, janet reed, an ohioan to cancer when i was nine years old. and tomorrow would be her 70th birthday. so i send her my love and i know that she is with us. i thank you for your encouraging and supportive individual meetings, to discuss your views in the positive impact it's made for the workers in your states
and the potential to do more to support them. if confirmed, i will work especially hard to maintain open lines of communication with you and the congress. i'm grateful for the support of my home state senators, shelly moore caputo and joe manchin, i would bring the grounding of my west virginian upbringing to xm. in 1985 senator caputo's father, governor arch moore bestowed upon me a golden horseshoe pin for an academic award that i wear today, its inscription reads mountaineers are always free. i believe that freedom in the form of free market principles is the best way to foster economic opportunity for all americans. throughout my 22-year career, i've embraced these principles to make a positive difference for our nation's businesses and workers. while also protecting the american taxpayer. i would bring these values to xm. there's room for improvement to keep america on this road to
prosperity and xm is no exception. if confirmed, i will work to insure xm faithfully implements all laws and reforms enacted by congress. i would launch a review to insure sha xm truly is the bank of last resort and not the other way around. there are now 109 foreign export credit agencies or ecas in other countries, up from 95 when i testified before you last november. xm recently reported the increasing weaponization of export trade credit by the word's ecas to increasingly nationalistic policies, particularly those by china. if confirmed i look forward to working with the administration and congress on an aggressive response to china's unfair trade policies. in a perfect world there would be no eca financing. if confirmed i will work with the u.s. government and as appropriate, the oecd, g20, wto, and other forums to move towards the ultimate goal of the
eliminating all eca financing. on that, you have my pledge. until that goal is reached, the united states should not unilaterally disarm in a fiercely competitive global economy. while we negotiate, we should not place our nation in a worst position than our foreign counterparts, as president trump stated regarding export financing, when other countries give it, we lose a tremendous amount of business. if the senate confirm as bank board quorum i will take responsible steps to get xm operational so america can compete on a more level playing field. xm has more than $40 billion in pending applications. supporting 250,000 u.s. jobs. we need to keep and support these jobs in the united states. while we at the same time work to reform the export subsidies of our competitors to save even more. we can do both. xm must also treat all american companies fairly. especially small and medium enterprises i would insure that
xm. working with community banks and community development financial institutions fund that i'm so familiar with, help small businesses and agriculture sector, which is vital to rural america in closing i would like to underscore the good governance is critical. xm, which has a very low, 0.4% default rate is self-sustaining because of the fees and loans it charges to the foreign purchasers. and has returned $14.6 billion to the u.s. treasury since the year 2000. we need to insure that it stays that way. building on my time in the congress on oversight investigations and government reform, i would focus on strong standards of conduct. increased transparency, and sound management practices. i would work with you and our inspector general to insure we are doing all we can to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and give better value to the taxpayer. thauchg for your consideration and i'll be pleased to answer any questions. >> thank you, ms. reed. i'll start my questioning with
you, ms. kraninger. as was obvious in the opening discussions between senator brown and myself there's a desire on some, on the part of some of the senators on the committee to know what involvement you had, if any, in certain policy decisions that have been made by the administration. can you discuss to what extent, if any, you were involved in the development of the administration's zero tolerance policy? >> senator, i appreciate the question. i had no role in setting the zero tolerance policy as i have said to many members in our meetings. they've recognized the reason for the question being asked. it is important to note that the office of management and budget has an extensive role in supporting agencies as they implement the president's priorities and agenda. that includes legislative proposals, regulatory proposals, budgetary resources and those kinds of facets of things. so it is clear that since the beginning of the administration, immigration policy border security policy, broadly has
been a very detailed discussion within the administration, there have been myriad meetings at all levels of the administration that i have attended that the director and deputy director and my staff have attended. and in addition to that senator, to your note, i do believe that the protection and preservation of the deliberative process is critical to the ability of the administration to develop policy and implement policy. i am not, i don't believe it's appropriate or fair or right for me to articulate the advice that i gave or to characterize the discussion that others may have had or brought to the table. but i can assure you and all of the members that in every position that i have ever held and every individual that i have supported in my career, that i've given my best advice based on the best information available at the time. and that's what i have done in the area of immigrations and
border security. i would note i had no role in setting the policy. >> thank you. and the same question basically with respect to the administration's response to hurricane maria in puerto rico. >> senator, with respect to hurricane response, the office of management and budget, including myself, my staff, the director, we have a role in reviewing disaster declaration recommendations that go to the president. so we are involved from that point. we also put together at the office of management and budget, the supplemental requests, that the administration puts forward to the hill when they are necessary. obviously last fall was a devastating hurricane season in the atlantic. that included puerto rico being hit by two hurricanes. one after the other. with irma and maria. so there were devastating impacts to that. clearly, additional resources were needed and the office of management and budget supported the president in putting forward those requests that congress considered and obviously
responded to. and provided the resources necessary. >> thank you, ms. reed? u.s. companies are increasingly challenged by subsidized export financing from china and other foreign nations. right now who is the picking the winners and losers in the global marketplace? and who if anyone should be? right now, sir, the united states is not picking winners for the united states workers. because we are not operational. so as i mentioned in my testimony, we have 250,000 jobs that potentially could be supported by a reported $40 billion in it applications waiting for an export import bank quorum if i'm confirmed i will not pick winners and losers, i will treat all applicants equally and fairly. that is what the charter passed by the congress dictates.
i will uphold the law and do all i can to help our small businesses in this country. it's very important to me and i have a long track record on that. i'm sure you're aware that there are a number of reforms are that many are seeking to see implemented at the xm bank. if you are confirmed, are there reforms you will prioritize? >> yes, sir. as i outlined in my testimony i'm very dedicated to increased transparency. we also have to protect our american company applicants from releasing their proprietary confidential business information. but i will take a hard look if confirmed in how we can do things to make what xm does more transparent. i also believe that we need to be focused on good ethics and if confirm eed and a quorum is confirmed we will be standing up a risk committee and be approving our chief ethics officer and chief risk officer. i believe we need to take a really hard look to insure that the bank is the bank of last
resort. so taking a look at some tests that xm currently administers on additionality and economic impact. take a look at those again and seek input from all the experts, many diverse opinions on this. think it's important as we look at reauthorization in 2019, that we take a look at that. >> senator brown? >> a week ago or so, ms. kraninger, we had a good discussion in our office, i appreciate you taking the time and the conversation we had. one of the, i asked a number of questions about tripling the rent for low income people. about the 600% interest that people payday, that people often more often than not pay when they get payday loans. the speaker of the house in ohio resigned as you probably know under a scandal about payday loans recently, first time in our history. your answer to all of those seemed to be that the market will take care of this.
and i only just suggest to you that i don't think that philosophy recognizes how expensive it is to be poor in this country. and i would as i ask you and as i ask secretary carson, that you, that you spend three or four hours and read the book "evicted" by matthew desmond. i think it speaks in a way that is really important to understand those issues better. a couple of questions. your response to the chairman was that you did not set policy. i understand that that's the term you used in my office and a number of other offerses and it's the term you used twice in response to the chairman, did not set policy. but you you do help to execute policy. would you talk about, talk about, i'm interested if what you did, not what you didn't do. talk about executing policy. talk about what, what resources you moved around, on the zero tolerance policy.
and since neither you nor the administration will even tell us, seem to want to tell us that in response to that letter. senator, i appreciate the question. with respect to the zero tolerance policy as i noted again i will repeat that i did not have any role in setting it. when the attorney general announced it, it was his prerogative to do so. and the department of justice has repeatedly asserted that they do have the resources to support their mission underneecht that policy and have done that. so the attorney general has announced -- >> i understand, i'm sorry to interrupt. we have five minutes. i understand what you didn't do. tell me what you did do with the zero tolerance policy. >> similarly, with the department of justice, articulating it had sufficient resources, the department of homeland security and then the health and human services department as well which not under my purview, but i'm aware of some of the things they're seeking there, they, those secretaries have looked at what the resources are available
within their flexibilities, provided through the appropriations process, to see what resources may be necessary to move around. there were discussions within the administration on those matters. but it is the -- >> what did you, i understand the other agencies, i apologize for cutting you off. but what did you actually do in your position at omb on that policy? >> so senator, there were meetings after the announcement of the policy as the secretaries raised questions about and were looking at their own resources to try to figure out how to support that implementation. and again, the office of management and budget is there to support those agencies, to ask questions and again in terms of the advice and details, it would be chilling to the deliberative process to give you extensive details on the substance of the discussion. i appreciate why you're asking. at the same time i don't think that's appropriate to get into the particular details of my advice. but i can say generally that the
office of management and budget supports those agencies and analyzing the need and looking at the appropriations law and the needs that are, that are made known to us. >> sort of the same nonanswer to the letter. when we met last week i asked you to name some enforcement agencies that director cordray had taken that you support. you didn't come up with any answers then. do you have any now? you've had a little time to think about it. >> senator, it was a good conversation with your office, i appreciate you alluding to it as well. i would say on that point specifically as i noted in my statement, i do support the bureau exercising its authority to taken forcement matters, when bad actors are operating in the system. >> i'm sorry to interrupt -- >> specifically two areas that the investigations that were launched under director cordray's leadership and continued under the current administration i can note equifax certainly, a lot of
members, we discussed extensively concerns about credit reporting agencies and their practices, the equifax fallout going to be something that's going to be with us for a long time. as a nation and an issue that many are grappling with and if confirmed i would be grappling with the steps that need to be taken there. that's something launched under his leadership. and i would say, too, the wells fargo enforcement actions as well. that's an area that again, completely inappropriate. >> even though my colleagues here said the cfpb didn't do its job. one of the enforcement actions that director cordray took was against a company skamging 9/11 first responders. the judge in the 9/11 first responders struck down cfpb's claims, agreeing with the president's supreme court that the bureau is unconstitutional. would you challenge that ruling, instead of the cfpb? as head of the cfpb? are you going to take the side of the 9/11 scammers or are you going to take the side of those
who were scammed as you decide what to do on this court case? >> please make your response prompt. >> absolutely. i'm aware of the constitutionality question, senator, i think they're important, but they're not for me in this position to answer. the director has a responsibility to carry out the law as it is written and run the agency as it is established now and that's my focus. >> senator corker? >> thank you, mr. chairman and thanks to both of you for your willingness to serve. i do want to respond to ranking member brown with sincere warmth. we came in together and i've enjoyed serving with you. it seems to me that what's been happening is if -- if we don't like something the president does, and i'll take a back seat to no one in challenging foreign policy issues, tariff issues with every ounce of energy that
i have. but if we don't like some of the things the president is doing, we should then block nominees that we like. i got a call after the helsinki press conference, which to me was one of the worst i've seen, from a leading democrat, i've shared this with some of my friends, he said corker, you need to block the supreme court nominee. well i could hit myself in the knee with a sledgehammer, too. but why would i block someone that i generally like over something that the president has done? i just want to say that -- i take a back seat to no one, senator menendez and i had a conversation about this yesterday. but it's actually you that's done the president's bidding on tariffs. senator toomey and i tried to block this terrible policy that's costing americans jobs. taxing americans. taxing americans. and you're actually doing his bidding. so i could throw that right back. and what i would like to see
happen is, is if we could somehow depoliticize this bureau, i mean it started out in a way that was controversial under dodd-frank. it did. it was the thing that kept us from having a bipartisan bill, dodd-frank. it was this agency that kept us from having a bill that would have stood the test of time. i think we could have come to an agreement. if that weren't for the way this was set up without a board and dividing all of us. i'd like to see somewhat figure out a way for this agency to go forward. there are abuses that happen there are abuses that happen. and the bureau has done some really good things in that regard. it's also in some cases, it feels done some things that were somewhat political. somewhat. i had a good relationship with cordray. i enjoyed working with him. i would like to ask our nominee, what is it that you can do, leading the department.
to try to cause this whole political atmosphere around it. to diminish. as its leader, so that we don't have these types of processes every time anything comes up regarding this bureau. >> thank you, senator, for that question, because it's critical and central to the discussion that's been happening today and for years on this bureau. what i bring to this position and why i was selected by the president to this position is precisely that. 20 years of government service working for common-sense solutions across the aisle. working with members on both sides to support the best outcome for the american people. and that is certainly what i pledge. this agency clearly needs solid management to take it forward, to become part of the financial regulatory framework of this nation, as a mature regulator and that is the direction that i would like to take it if confirmed.
i firmly believe that we can continue to push for transparency and accountability at the bureau, again to really have a clear decision-making process. that takes into account all of the takes into account all of the interests that are across the nation from consumer groups to the financial institutions to all of you here today to make the best decisions and put forward the best actions for the american people. >> so, i'm chairman of the foreign relations committee. there are people on our staff that are just outstanding. finest people i've worked with in my life. and they are specialists in what they do. it's my understanding you have pooement people like that already at the bureau who work -- who would be working underneath you if confirmed. one of the challenges that people have put to you is that you haven't been in this area. but it's my understanding that you have some very capable people that work underneath that
are specialists in the areas that the bureau would be dealing with. is that correct? >> yes, senator, it is. i very much look forward to meeting all of them, understanding the details of the positions that they have taken, the recommendations they have made and moving the bureau forward. >> and if you would, state -- state -- let me not -- i know i've got three seconds left. let me say to ms. reed. i enjoyed seeing you in uganda. i appreciate the meeting we had in our office. i know senator toomey and others have focused on some reforms they'd like to see take place. i hope we'll be able to work with you and others to make that happen. i call on senator men dozendez.
>> you have been asked to lead the agency singularly asked from consumer, from service, seniors, homeowners. we created the consumer financial protection bureau to be an independent cop on the beat for american consumers. when we met, and i appreciate you coming by, you told me your management experience at omb has prepared you for this role. so, i want to ask you about that, specifically the administration's response to puerto rico. hurricane maria tragically killed thousands of people. resulted in the longest blackout in u.s. history. and left puerto ricans without access to clean water for weeks. it took fema only two weeks to send texas almost three times the amount of staff it sent to puerto rico two months later. now, i sent you a letter asking for information about your role in puerto rico. and i asked for a response by this past monday. you failed to provide one.
as it turns out, i have e-mails that demonstrate your involvement in the trump administration's response to hurricane maria, at these are not e-mails you provided to us. in my office you told me that you were not -- not only were you involved in the response to puerto rico through your oversight of fema, hud and oversaw disaster aid relief to congress. i think factually we probably both know the answers. in the first aid package congress passed after hurricane maria, most of puerto rico's aid came in the form of a community disaster loan that can only be forgiven by secretaries, conditions not applicable to texas. is it true puerto rico waited five months for this funding? >> the cdl loan was an
unprecedented amount of resources being provided that congress deemed appropriate -- >> did they wait five months -- >> $1.5 about l. >> did they wait five months to get the money? >> no, senator, i don't believe the governor has availed himself of this option yet. at the same time, it's an unprecedented amount of money that is available -- >> let me tell you what happens since you have a different recollection. the administration unjustifiably withheld the loan to puerto rico. saying they have cash balances and didn't need the money. in 2017 the governor requested $90 billion in recovery funds. in response to this request, how much money did you request from congress? >> senator, the request administration submitted actually included an addendum to the letter that said specifically additional funds would be requested -- >> can you give me the dollar figure? >> senator, it was a specific amount for the disaster relief fund that actually applies to all the disasters.
>> and that amount was $44 billion, was it not? >> yes, i believe that's correct. >> that was to be split among texas, florida, puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands, is that correct? >> yes, senator. it was also the third request and the note would be -- >> in november 2017 request to congress, you requested budget cuts to offset aid dollars provided to puerto rico. in your extensive disaster management experience, does congress typically require offsets for supplemental disaster funding? >> i'm sorry, senator, does congress -- >> typically require offsets for supplemental disaster funding? >> senator, as i -- my role specifically at omb is certainly to make recommendations. these are the requests the president is making at the -- >> is the answer yes or no. does congress typically require offsets for supplemental disaster funding? >> it has been -- >> you and i both know the answer is no. >> it has been a common conversation in recent years, definitely. again, it's the prerogative of
congress -- >> the answer is no. you should know that. you know that. >> it's a conversation that has been had, senator. and i appreciate your perspective on it. >> did you -- amazing. did you advocate for unprecedented policies that would have conditioned puerto rico's receipt of disaster relief funding for -- on the oversight of the island's unelected and unaccountable control board? >> senator, as i noted earlier in other discussions, i don't think it's appropriate to characterize my advice. you do see what the request was that the administration provided to the congress and that congress considered when congress -- >> in e-mails you say you see a role for the board. look, you were a significant t architect of the trump administration's response to purt rowco. at worse is reflects the administration's most insidious views about hispanic americans. 3.5 million american citizens
who call puerto rico home, but they're american citizens like you and i are, faced their darkest hour. instead of turning to help them, you pinch pennies. worse of all, i think you treat them like second-class citizens. that does not give me faith that when you have to stand up for seniors, service members, students, homeowners against some of the biggest financial institutions in this country that you'll do that. if you couldn't do it for the people of puerto rico, i don't know how you'll do it for anybody else, and they are u.s. citizens, miss kraninger. >> thank you, senator toomey. >> thank you, mr. acting chairman. and i want to thank our two guests today for their willingness to serve. let me start with miss reed. thanks for coming by my office. i appreciated the conversation that we had. and i think it's no secret that i've been very concerned and a skeptic about xm bank, skeptic about its fundamental mission. in my view, it is by its nature
intrinsically forces taxpayers to subsidize companies, distorts markets, picks winners and losers, there have been episodes of waste, fraud and abuse, and hasn't been responsive to congress. despite all that, i was willing to vote a quorum of board members provided a reformer like scott garrett be leading this organization. our pro senators decided not to have a quorum, so that's where we are. however, consistent with my interest in seeing reforms, i was pleased with your testimony. you emphasized a number of areas where you have committed to us that you want to pursue reforms, but i'd like to just have a specific series of questions that i would pose to you. just give me a simple answer as to whether or not these are areas that you would work with us for reform. specifically, will you work with me and other members of this
committee and the senate to increase transparency at the bank to the greatest extent that it's practicable without divulging confidential business information is? >> yes, sir. >> will you work with me to protect taxpayers from deals that go badly? >> yes, sir. >> will you work with me and members of the committee to provide protection from domestic companies that might arise with financing from foreign competitors? >> yes, sir. >> will you work with us to ensure xm is not crowding out private financing options that would otherwise be available but for xm's involvement? >> yes, sir. >> will you work with me and the committee to crack down on bad actors, whether it's employees of the bank or customers who shouldn't be dealing with the bank? >> yes, sir. >> and will you work with all of us and the administration to
meet the statistutory requireme through requirement? >> yes. >> thank you. miss kraninger, two things. one, under the previous regime, the cfpb, occasionally engaged in imposing policies that had the effect of being a rule without going through the administrative procedures act. they decided to use enforcement and guidance to impose their will without following the legal requirement that they subject such a proposal to the skut any that is called for in the apa. there's one case, in fact, where it was so egregious that the senate acted to repeal the rule. the indirect lending was the case. guidance was the mechanism they used to impose what should have gone through it the rule-making process. never did. the congress recognized that and has since repealed it. my question for you, will you commit to using the administrative procedures act when you -- when the cfpb imposes new rules? >> absolutely, yes, senator.
it's critical to the process. >> thank you. >> section 1071 of the dodd/frank act, unfortunately, instructs the bureau to collect and compile data on small business lending. i say unfortunately for a number of reasons, not the least of which this is meant to be a consumer bureau, not a business bureau. but nevertheless, the law says what it says and you have to comply with the law. my understanding is section 104 of 2155, which was recently passed and signed into law, addresses the challenge of overly intrusive data collection with respect to small mortgage lending, so there's some relief built in there. but it's narrow. it's narrow. it applies only to the small mortgage lenders. my understanding is section 171 of dodd/frank allows exceptions.
so, my question to you is in implementing, in complying with part of dodd/frank, this requirement, will you commit to working to minimize the undue costs, burden, administrative aggravation for small business compliance with this part of the law? >> senator, i can absolutely commit to you that the law will be carried out and the authority given to the bureau to tailor that narrowly is certainly something i'll look at and i'll pledge to you i will. this is an ongoing action that the bureau is looking at and it is an area, to your point, the law requires the bureau to act. so i don't want to prejudge it. at the same time, i appreciate where you're coming from and i understand the need to limit. >> very briefly because i know i'm out of time, but can you confirm, do you agree with my interpretation that 1071 is the
only respect in which dodd/frank mandates the bureau to deal with small business? >> senator, it is very clearly one. and i have not read all of the enumerated consumer laws, as you know there are many. at the same time, i absolutely believe there is a limited intent for the bureau to be enganged in small business, oversight or engagement there. that's something that should be limited. >> thanks, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator toomey. senator tester. >> thank you, senator corker. appreciate the recognition. thank you, both of you, for being here today. i'm going to start out with you, miss kraninger. it is no secret that mr. mulvaney is no fan of the vfpb. that aside, would you say that he has done a good job in his role as acting director? >> senator, i would say that the acting director is -- has
focused on two priorities. one -- >> no, no, no, please. i know how to filibuster. you know how to filibuster. just answer the question. >> i understand. >> has he done a good job? >> senator, he's my current boss who i respect greatly and he has actually been focused on implementing the law from that standpoint, i would say yes. >> so, one of the things you had in your four points you were going to bring to the cfpb, i want to focus on the second one, work closely with other regulators and aggressively take actions against bad actors. i think that's a noble thing to do. mr. mulvaney has pulled back the payday lending rule, pulled the prepaid accounts rule and done more things than, quite frankly, i've got fingers, okay? did you support him in those, then? do you think that's the right actions to take? because it goes, in my opinion, c contrary to your number two
plank that you're bringing to the agency? >> i appreciate your attempt. i'll attempt not to filibuster. i have to say i will take aggressive actions if i am confirmed. i do believe the acting director is -- you know, information -- >> senator, it's under active consideration. from that vantage point -- >> are you going to recommend they reinstate the payday lending rule? >> i think it's important to let the process happen on this because it is ak-r actively under reconsideration so it's not appropriate to comment. i understand your interest in it, sir. so look, you probably got votes to confirm, but i have to tell you, i've listened to the questions asked here today and you can answer the questions. you really can. all you got to do is answer them. you're going to be the head of this agency. you're going to be leading this
agency. your recommendations are going to account for something. so it would be really help. ful for me to know if i'm going to vote for you or not vote for you, where you're at, where you're at. not the people under you. let me ask you another one. one of the other things that the previous -- that mulvaney did is he appointed political folks to track career folks within the agency. the same folks that you said you're going to be looking forward to working with. do you intend to keep those political folks on board with any agency if and when you become director of the cfpb? >> senator, i'm going to take every staff member individually, have a conversation with them to understand what they've been working on and what they'd like to continue to work on. but i am not prejudged, having political or career staff continue. i think it's appropriate to give them that opportunity to have
the conversation. >> okay. so, you oversaw the treasury department in your position as omb, one of the seven agencies you oversaw? >> yes, senator. >> earlier this week the treasury department and the irs announced it's one of the swa b swampiest decisions i've ever seen, they made a decision to allow for these c-4s want to have to report money they've received, nonprofits, allowing donations to those c-4s over $5,000, not have to be reported to the irs. do you agree with that decision? >> senator, i understand they published that decision. i can tell you i did not have a role in it. >> i know. but do you agree with that decision? whether you had a role or not, do you agree with that decision? >> since i haven't read the law
in that area -- >> it's going to allow these organizations not to -- to basically hide where they got their money, is that okay? >> senator, i think they looked at the law and the requirements and -- >> okay. so, let me ask you this. the number one thing that you're going to bring to the bureau is transparency and accountability. can you tell me how that decision, just setting on the outside looking in, whether your oversight of that department or not, you can say, i don't have an opinion on it when it deals exclusively with transparency? >> senator, i can tell you at the bureau i am committed. >> let me ask -- i'm want even going to ask. i'm just going to make a statement. i liked your document you gave us that was your opening statement. it said a lot of good things that i agree with, protecting data. we could get into equifax. i'm not sure we could get any answers. accountability for actions, i like that. transparency, working closely,
holding bad actors. by the way, your answers did not reflect those values. at all. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator tillis. >> well, welcome. before i get into some of the questions primarily toward miss kraninger, miss reed, i want to talk a little about what we -- thanks to both of you for coming to the office. but i want to talk a little bit about what i believe -- why i believe the xm needs to become functioning again. i think you in your open testimony talked about an increase number of equivalent agencies and the global markets. i, for one, think we've got to get away from this either or proposition and start talking about the reality that if we don't have this in our tool kit when we're competing and the
global markets that we disable ourselves much the same way a state would get out of economic incentives. do you agree with that? >> yes, sir. >> do you also agree there may be things that could make the bank less politicized if we worked on proving that but for the involvement of the xm bank the transaction would not necessarily go the positive way and can i get your commitment to come back to my office or before this committee to tell us what that would look like so hopefully we can get to a better place and better certainty for the long-term interest of the omb bank? >> absolutely. >> thank you for your service. miss kraninger, there are a lot of people that asked a lot of questions and gave you limited time to answer. is there anything you would like to respond to before i ask you a couple of questions? >> senator, thank you for that opportunity. i recognize senator tester wanted to hear a little more about my views. i can certainly talk about the challenges with the payday
lending arena. i do take the point of the conversation i had with senator brown on the challenges for hard-working americans out there and i think what would be helpful is continued competition in the small dollar lending space. i would say comptroller actions and trying to work with traditional banks to bring additional products and services to the market is something that would be useful. i certainly -- it's a difficult position to be in because it's on the regulatory docket for the agency. i know that. and it's something that cannot be prejudged. i respect the process there but i certainly have spent some time looking at this issue and look forward to further getting into it. >> i think in the opening testimony the ranking member talked about folks on our side of the aisle have been working hard to de fang and i'm one of those, and it means taking the fangs out of a snake to make it
less poisoning or less threatening. in my opinion, consumer finance protection bureau, but the reality is, i think that it's the first agency of its kind that's not accountable, ar impuably to anybody, because after you get confirmed for a period of time, just like your predecessor, you don't even answer to the president. you certainly don't answer to the congress. when mick mulvaney or director mulvaney was here, i was struck by the -- his goal of trying to convince us that they should be an agency that's more accountable to the president. do you or do you not share director mulvaney's view that this is an agency that's sort of unlike anyone with great power and no accountability and that that's not good for any area of government? >> clearly, senator, the congress through dodd/frank act gave the bureau incredible powers and incredible independence from both the president and the congress in
its structure. i have noted that my focus is on running the agency as congress established it, but certainly working with members of congress, i'm very open to changes in that structure that will make the agency more accountable and more transparent. >> i, for one, for those who are not going to support your nomination, i for one think this is a great time for us to come together and actually move that accountable and funding back into congress so they could actually have some say. the fact of the matter is, you like mick mulvaney don't really have to care but for maybe your interest in democracy and support for congress, you don't have to care one bit about our opinions about your activities. and nlsz we get to a point where it's accountable, becomes accountable to congress, that's going to continue. and i for one hope you go out there and you work on clawing back regulations that on the surface look like they're passed for protection of the consumer
but in many cases they're harmful ultimately to the consumer, either in terms of cost or access to capital. i look forward to supporting your nomination. i also welcome your family and friends here. the nominees are doing just fine. i look forward to supporting both of you on the floor. >> senator warner. >> thank you, chairman. i want to say welcome to the witnesses. miss reed, i look forward to supporting you. you're a lucky witness this morning since your colleague is receiving most of the attention. i would remind -- i'm sorry senator corker is no longer here. the -- i was here at the start of dodd/frank. senator corker and i worked very, very closely. the original proposals were set up as more of a traditional agency with traditional oversight but then some members of the minority's position that
they did not want to create a new box, a new entity, so it was put in this rather unique framework of inside the fed with that certain funding stream. i think the history would demonstrate that is how the rather unique aspects of the cfpb came to bear. i want to drill down in a couple of specific areas. i think every aspect for it to work, it needs to make sure you use data to analyze problems and really make data-driven decisions rather than again that-driven decisions. senator warner and i submitted a comment to the cfpb about director mulvaney's skepticism of data gathering by the cfpb. i think he's expressed an ongoing hostility toward data collection. as an example, he froze
collection of permanent data for six months, got rid of a planned survey on debt collection disclosures and i'm deeply concerned that one of your four priorities was to limit data collection to what is, quote, needed and required by law, and i know as well, and i've been somebody who has favored cost benefit analyses, but how do you do a cost benefit analyses that's going to be accurate and adhere to fact-based if you're not able to do appropriate data collection to influence your decision, how can we be assured it's not going to be a political-driven agenda rather than data-based agenda? >> senator, i appreciate the question. i'm absolutely committed to data-driven and should i be concerned that would be a focal point at the bureau? i take your point but to the extent it's supporting that decision making, the data collection would be needed and required. i also think it's important to
distinguish here between the data that comes through the request for information, out to the public, there are a number of sources of evidence that come beyond the entities that the bureau is supervising directly. so ensuring that consumer groups have the opportunity to respond, to provide information, using the benefit of a lot of the academics that are there -- >> i would simply say, though, that if we're going to do rule-making on debt collection practices without talking to those people who have been targets, customers, consumers, users of those debt collection services, i don't know how you can reach a conclusion. now, i come and can live with the ranking member and many on this side. we don't always agree. i generally come with a pro business bias. i've been in business longer than politics. i have to tell you, i think the
power in most business consumer relationships have shifted away from the consumer towards business. and i see this particularly, as we discussed a little bit in circumstances around the credit reporting agencies, and you and i have no option to choose to be customers or not of credit reporting agencies and i'm very concerned, not only in credit reporting but as we move into irn creased areas around social media and elsewhere, i'm not sure that even a relatively informed consumer can simply sign away all of their rights with this growing imbalance, where the business has all the information, all the data, all the tech tools and you're stick with a click here. i agree. and print that no one could read or even if you could read, you couldn't necessarily understand. are you concerned about this
imbalance between business's ability to collect consumer data knowingly and oftentimes unknowingly? and what do you think the cfpb should do to help protect consumers in this growing arena? >> senator, i appreciate the question and enjoyed the conversation we had. specific to credit reporting agencies, just to take that, because that is a critical area where the bureau is spending a significant amount of time. i look forward to the results of the equifax investigation, to see what's happening there, to see what the bureau staff has found in terms of the concerns, and i do think that the customer relationship there is really between the agencies and the financial institutions. so ensuring the consumer is protected in that situation sxa that they are limiting the information they're collecting to what is appropriate and that they're protecting it and that the consumer has a measure of control and involvement in that
going forward is certainly something that makes sense to me. and i look forward to getting into that more with the federal trait commission and the bureau staff if confirmed. >> my time expired. mr. chairman, i want to note for the record, i appreciate your interest in this subject. i have to tell you, if this committee takes up any other legislative activities this year, it's going to be my intent to make sure that credit reporti reporting, appropriate guard rules, a year after equifax and still nothing has happened, that's going to be at the top of my priority list and i hope we can work together. >> it's a high proert for me as well, as well as data collections in general. senator warren. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one thing consumers need in a cfpb director is someone who's willing to stand up to powerful people on behalf of those who don't have power. and that's why i want to focus
on the trump administration's child separation policy. since march of 2017 you've been the head of the general government programs at the office of management and budget. is that right? >> that's correct. >> it's an important job. the general government programs division at omfb is in charge of overseeing the department of justice and homeland? >> that's correct. >> according to the disclosures, serve as principal policy official for issues related to the departments and agencies you oversee, is that right? >> yes, senator. >> so, the justice department and homeland security are the two agencies most responsible for taking children away from their parents at the border and you see policy issues at both agencies. for a month now you have refused to respond to ranking member brown's and my request for information for documents
relating to your role in child separations. when we met in my office last week, you refused over and over to give me a straight answer about your role. today you've given a very lawyerly and limited answer. you're dodging. the answers have also been contradictory. you say you have no role in setting the policy, but you also can't describe the advice you gave on the policy, which means it raises a question. which is it, you had no role or you had a role and you can't describe it? so, i'm going to ask you again, under oath, were you involved in any way in developing or implementing the policies that led this administration to take thousands of children away from their parents at the border? >> senator, i had no role in setting the policies. we discussed -- >> please, answer my question. it was developing or implementing.
>> i had no role in developing it in terms of its announcement by the attorney general and so -- >> so, you didn't help the attorney general announce it, but otherwise did you help develop or implement this policy? >> with subsequent to the attorney general's announcement, there were meetings within the administration on the general topic of the implementation. again, the office of management and budget does -- >> so, is that a yes, you were involved? that's a yes? >> senator, again, i don't want to characterize -- >> well, i'm asking you a pretty straight-forward yes or no question. i will remind you, you are under oath and lying to congress is a crime. i'll also remind you that many of the documents i've requested about your role in this policy could eventually become public under the freedom of information act. so, let me ask again the specific question. were you involved in developing or implementing the policies that led to children being taken away from their parents at the
border? >> senator, it's difficult to separate -- >> i'll take that as a yes, then. >> so, as i said, i will not characterize the advice that was provided on the -- >> i didn't ask you to characterize. i asked you a simple yes or no question. according to reports, in some cases the trump administration isn't sure which children belong to which parents. as of monday the administration had not identified the parents of 71 separated parents. which means right now they can't be reunited. dhs is the agency which took parents away from their young children. did you work with dhs to create a plan for eventually reuniting these children with their parents? >> senator, i can't characterize my advice. but since -- >> i asked you, did you work with them on a plan? i didn't ask what the plan was, what advice you gave. did you work with them on a plan
to reunite these children who were taken away from their parents? >> i understand the question, senator, but it becomes a slippery slope in terms of characterizing the advice that was provided or the analysis or the questions that were raised -- >> no,ist not a slippery slope. you don't want to characterize because you don't want to admit that you had something to do with this. you know, this was a policy that was designed to traumatize children. and families as a way of scaring them away from the border. even if they were seeking asylum, even if they were fleeing death threats, gang violence, rape, domestic abuse. white house chief of staff kelly said that the whole point of this was, quote, to be a tough deterrent. the american academy of pediatrics says being separated from their parents for weeks or months can cause these children irreparable, life-long physical and psychological harm. do you think that purposefully
inflicting that on innocent children is immoral? >> and please make your answer brief. >> senator, i think there are many heart-breaking stories that appear on the news every day from the conversation we had about american families, hard working, who are -- >> it's a simple yes or no question. do you believe it is immoral to set up a plan whose deliberate intent is to inflict harm on children? >> senator, it's not appropriate for me to provide my personal opinion and internal deliberations and discussions on this matter. >> almost every member of this committee, democrat and republican, has denounced this policy. even president trump when he signed the executive order ending child separation said, and i'll quote, i didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. but you can't have an opinion on this? you know, i went to the border last month.
i met a mother who was torn away from her 7-year-old little boy in the middle of the night. she could want stop crying. all she could say over and over and over is i never even had a chance to say good-bye. she had not seen her little boy for weeks. she had no idea where he was. you see the videos of some of these children being returned to their parents after long separations. they're dazed, they're unsmiling, they're dirty. it's like the life has been sucked out of them. these are innocent children who may be scarred forever by this policy. it is fundamentally immoral and you, you were part of it, miss kraninger. it's a moral stain that will follow you for the rest of your life. if the senate votes to give you a big promotion after this, then it is a stain on the senators who do so. >> senator cortez -- excuse me.
i apologize. i didn't see senator moran come in. oh, excuse me. rounds. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, what i would like to do, once we've got the noise cleared up here, we'll turn around and we'll go back and ask some questions about -- with both of our two witnesses. thank you. miss reed, your role coming in as a chairperson is to make certain that this particular institution, this bank, is capable of competing with other similar type institutions from around the country. and providing services so that
we, again, can properly export to other countries. i think some people think that's inappropriate, that a government would provide a service. i don't. i think that's appropriate that we be competitive. can you share very briefly your thoughts with regard to the appropriateness of competing with other countries and providing our businesses with that same type of service so they can compete? >> absolutely, sir. thank you. as i mentioned in my opening statement, if we're not at the table, we're u.n. laterally disarmed and they will take those jobs through their own eca programs. i want to be sure in this time when we have 109 ecas competing against the united states that we're there. i think that is so important. i know the export/import bank
has a very specific role, it's a tool in the tool box. dan rundy published an op-ed in "the hill" earlier this week and he lays out in the world of china. they're using their export/import bank along with many other tools to be present through their welts and roads policy all around the world and we need to be there not only because we need to be for national security reasons, part of the president's economic and -- economic security is national security, and so xm is part of that. we need to be there for our workers. i want our workers there with these jobs. >>. >> i was very pleased with the response you gave to senator toomey. senator toomey was expressing the ex/im picks winners and losers. i was happy that you'll work with us would not be in the future. thank you for that. i appreciate that.
miss kraninger, i understand that sometimes we run out of time here and there are some things we as senators try to get a lot of questions in in a short period of time, but sometimes that also means we don't give you the opportunity to clearly lay out your thoughts and answer questions. i think that's occurred today. in fact, you've been the object so that individuals here that have disagreements with the administration's policies and their attempts to enforce border security and so forth and they've used you as the object, i'd like to give you an opportunity to perhaps fully answer more questions you think you haven't had the opportunity to answer with regard to any of your activity at omb and the responsibilities you had in omb, recognizing that it may in many cases be to simply provide advice. would you like to share with us a little bit, perhaps more fully answer the questions that some
other members were interested in but probably didn't have the time to allow you to answer? >> thank you, senator. i appreciate that opportunity. the office of management and budget is truly a unique organization in the government because it has such a broad reach into all of the activities across government. it's kind of a microcosm. my portfolio is the broadest. the level of engagement that i have in any particular issue or any particular department or agency does vary substantially so the question with respect to the irs rule, i was aware of it happening. i know that my staff reviewed it but, again, i did not have a role in developing that. with respect to the response to, again, the horrible disasters last fall, because there was clear need for additional resources, the office of management and budget was very
engaged. in addition with respect to puerto rico, the treasury department had a deep role working with the government, with the oversight board to look at the future of puerto rico. again, there have been many meetings on. i'd also like to note there are many hard working men and women across the administration at the state level, in the private and nonprofit sectors that were very engaged in the hurricane response. it's an honor to support them and look at the resource needs brought forward and submit to congress the resource needs we think were fully justified and -- >> i know my time expired but i would ask the chairman for a little lee yentcy after the last questions asked. you're responsible for over $250 million in budgetary resources for seven cabinet departments and 30 other federal agencies.
accidents including the treasury department, department of housing and urban development, the bureau and all other financial regulators. you serve as omb as principal policy director for issues relating to those departments and the agencies. i just get the sense with the huge number of items in front of you, how much do you get into the specific details? and do you have the opportunity to come back in and say, wait a minute, i disagree with a particular policy, i can stop it or change it or do you offer advice? >> again, please keep your remarks brief. >> yes, senator. it's definitely an opportunity to offer advice and the involvement level really does vary substantially based on the president's priorities, the director's priorities, the agency head's priorities, how much authority they have -- >> one last, is your advice always taken? >> senator, i wish that it were but, no, my advice is not always taken. . at the same time, i'm also
fallible but i offer my best advice based on the best information available. >> thank you, chairman. >> senator shots. >> thank you for your willingness to serve. i want to follow up on the line of questioning around family separation. i understand you can't characterize the advice you gave, but i'm wondering if we can get some sinlsz-e senense o categories they were. was it advice related to execution? i think if -- i'm not sure i agree with you about deliberative product. i'm not sure i agree with you about the sort of vague assertion of, i don't know if it's privilege you're asserting or a personal judgment you're making or on the advice of counsel and maybe we can get into that. set that aside for a moment. i think it's fair for us to know broadly what you did. not how you advised people, not how you executed, but were you
advising on implementation? were you advicing on compliance? were you providing legal counsel? were you providing political advice? can you just characterize what you were doing? >> senator, with respect to the office of management and bunl's role, which characterizes my role, the director's role, myriad meetings talking about the agencies as they were exkuliexkul i executing the policy. we have a rule at omb a rule for providing perspective on the budgetary resources necessary, any regulatory issues -- >> why the third person here? every time we ask you about what you did, you say omb has a role and it becomes this description of the faraway bureaucrat. it was you. i'm just asking you so that we can establish a little trust. you can just sort of characterize what you talked about, not to describe the contents of what you talked about, but broadly were you
giving legal advice? were you giving -- let's start with that. were you giving legal advice? >> senator, if i could respond to the point you're making. my conversation with senator rounds, the reason why i'm saying the office of management and budget is because, as senator warren and i discussed in her office, i am responsible for my staff. >> no,s i get that. >> so, i do have staff involvement. i'm also providing advice to the director -- >> i don't have a lot of time. >> sorry, senator. >> did you give legal advice? >> senator, it's not appropriate for me to give legal advice really. it's the purview of the office of office of management and budget to weigh in on budgetary resources, those kind of things. >> weighing in on regulations, what does that mean? >> so, for example, anything that involves a data collection, it requires notice under the privacy act, whether it's a system of records notice submission or -- >> so, compliance of -- >> those kind of things -- >> can you please -- rather than me playing 20 questions with you, can you please try to
characterize your role in this without running afoul of any principle you articulated earlier. and in as simple and personal terms as we can get to where you can say, this is basically what i did for them. now i'm not going to tell you exactly how you i advised them or how i -- or get into deliberative product. i understand your position on that. but can you not characterize anything more than omb generally does this and that would apply to this situation, too? >> senator, i have said i had no rule in setting the policy. >> i got that. so, what did you do? >> there were a number of meetings on immigration and border security policy writ large that i participated in, that i supported the director and the deputy director in their participation. and that my staff participated in and then came back and told me -- >> i have to tell you, i don't do hearings so i can put a clip
up on youtube. i don't operate that way. and i am trying to get an answer from you. and i just can't. and it is maddening because this is not a trivial aspect of your basic qualifications for the job. you're coming in and asserting you are a manager and you can't characterize anything you're doing as a manager. let me ask you one final question. is your position, which that would get into deliberative product, is that on the advice of counsel? >> senator, the documents that were requested in the letters is something that i have shared with the appropriate officials and that include says the office of management and budget counsel. >> but did counsel give you advice and tell you want to answer these questions?
>> senator, we certainly had a lot of preparation for this hearing and discussion about my answers but i would say -- zoob did you get legal advice? did you get legal advice? >> not per se legal advice, sir. i'm not asserting privilege. it's not for me to do that certainly in this state, but i am saying i want to preserve the deliberative process and that's an important thing to preserve. similar to conversations you or i have had with senators i've worked. >> is that your personal judgment or is that on the basis of advice from the gc or from the white house? >> senator, it's fair to say there were discussions in preparation for this process that i did have others way in in terms of giving me advice on how to respond but my responses are my own. >> thank you. >> senator moran. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much.
thanks to both of our nominees for being with us today. i look forward to working with both of you should you be confirmed in the capacities you've been nominated to fill. miss kraninger, i would start with you. i want to let you know how much i appreciate the working relationship that you and i have had in your capacity here on the appropriations committee in the united states senate as well as your work at office of management and budget and indicate to you that i appreciate the diligence with which you pursued my inquiries and issues i raised in both of those capacities. the thoughtful and articulate way you communicated with me about responses and the lack of partisanship and the issues we were dealing with was clearly demonstrated to me. and i'm grateful for your professional approach to the way you've conducted your work, at least in the experience i've had with you over the last several
years during my time as united states senator. my observation about the hearing today on your nomination reminds me of the first piece of legislation i intoed as united states senator related to financial services and banking. that was, among other things, the belief that this entity should be governed by a board. while there seems to be relish in having the opportunity to question you as a potential director much the consumer financial protection bureau, maybe we would enjoy it if we had three or four or five more opportunities to do so. and having other people confirmed. the point that -- said somewhat with a smile, we would go through this four more times. but the point i'm making, there is diverse views in this committee and this country about the role of the protection bureau. i'm of the view that republicans made a significant error, at
least some, in saying we're going to repeal dodd/frank and end its reign and the reaction -- unfortunate reaction to that was, many democrats who say you're not going to touch the issues associated with dodd/frank. so, we put ourselves in corners that then cause us to be unable to solve problems that clearly resulted as a result of the existence of dodd/frank with two sides saying we're going to do this and not let you do this. it didn't allow us to find a middle ground in very many instances. at least until recently, in which we could make some improvements or changes in dodd/frank. one of the changes i've long promoted is that a board or commission that would oversee consumer financial protection bureau would make sense. i'm not going to ask you your opinion about that. but i would raise this with my colleagues to suggest not only would it give us opportunity to have more input with those who would be in charge of the consumer financial protection bureau but it would also allow us to better protect and avoid
the swings that may occur from one administration to another in the approach that we have had -- the approach that cfpb has had in regard to the regulatory world of protecting consumers. i would indicate it would be valuable to me and i would allow you to respond to this, but it would be valuable to me to confirm what i would expect you to confirm, that you will operate in your capacity, if confirmed, in a very transparent and open way so that members of congress have a better opportunity to influence and to make points to you than i sometimes felt i had with one of your predecessors in his administration, his directorship of the bureau. and i would also make the point that those who are being regulated could use greater transparency because i think in too many instances rule-making was not accomplished. therefore, the rules were unknown and you became what was the rules of the road became known only once there was an
enforcement action. so, i would give you the opportunity to confirm to me, first of all, how you would operate in a transparent way with me and my colleague as members of the united states senate. secondly, if you have thoughts we make certain those you are regulating know what the regulations are before they suffer the enforcement action that often resulted in a fine. >> absolutely, senator. thank you so much for your comments and for your perspective on this. i completely agree that the bureau, it is a priority for the bureau to be transparent and accountable, that i am committed to working with members of both sides of the aisle and congress do move the bureau forward in that kind of manner. in terms of the so-called regulation by enforcement that many have been concerned about in terms of the prior approach to the bureau, i completely agree that it is critical to have clear rules so that the
lenders and creditors and the consumers themselves know what the rules are and that they are not somehow told after the fact that they broke a rule they weren't even aware of or that it somehow changed without any proper notice and comment process to really understand the impacts and the opportunity to tailor, as i've discussed with many other members. so, i completely agree that that is not appropriate and something that i would not engage in. >> i appreciate your response. miss reed, i have run out of time. i would tell you i look forward to working with you. i've been on the banking committee long enough to remember the days in which you would have been a controversial nominee. i'm glad to see that ex/im is back in a position in which we can move forward and protect the interests in a global economy of united states businesses but more importantly, those who work for united states businesses. thank you, ma'am. >> senator cortez mastle. >> thank you.
welcome. congratulations on both your nominatio nominations. let me say thank you to both of you for taking the time to visit with me and answer my questions. i really appreciate that. welcome to your family as well. miss kraninger, i'm going to start with you. these are similar to some of the questions we had when you were willing to meet with me. i've heard you say time and again today in response to all of my colleagues' questioning that your intent is to ensure the bureau is transparent and accountable, but my concern is, based on the questionings and the answers you've given today, we can't even get you to be transparent and accountable about the work you're doing at the omb, the current job you have, that's funded by taxpayer dollars, that should be transparent to the public. so, i have concerns that this if you can't even tell us what you're doing on a day-to-day basis, how can we trust you're
going to carry that over to the cfpb? let me follow up with this. mick mulvaney said state regularities and states attorney general should play an active role in enforcing the laws, however as a former attorney general myself, i know that ags can't be the only cop on the beat. they. fpb has been vital in uncovering widespread and massive fraud and holding those companies accountable. they are the first stop in the states to protect consumers. that is your role as well, my understanding from the statutes that i read and what you've said today in your statements. let me give you an example of where the cfpb was instrumental for the states. wells fargo, as you well know. their actions affected 3.5 million people nationwide, including 121,000 in nevada alone. after an investigation by the cfpb, wells fargo paid a $500
million penalty. can you enumerate the powers that the cfpb has that state ags or state regulators do not? >> senator, certainly as we discussed in your office, i appreciate your perspective and experience in this area. the partnership with the state regulators is essential, i believe, to the point that you noted the states have been engaged in the enforcement -- >> why do you think it's essential? >> pardon me? >> why do you think it's essential? >> certainly because the law stipulates that and i think that's important. they existed prior to the bureau and were engaged in this activity prior to the bureau's existence. and the statute specifically calls out that important coordination role, whether it's with enforcement -- >> let me say as somebody that relied on the cfpb, because i will tell you in the state of nevada, the regulators weren't there when the crisis occurred.
nobody stopped it. nobody was working to prevent it. but when the cfpb was created, they were the wash dog nationally to work with the states and the state's ag. i will tell you the cfpb has a national view issues, and it is is not limited by state preemption laws. it's key to what happens across this country when we're looking to consumer financial protection to work with the states. let me ask you this. without a strong federal regulator, how do you anticipate states will be able to uncover and put together patterns of wrongdoing, potential wrongdoing across the country? >> senator, i'm committed to carrying out the responsibilities of the bureau under the law which does include working with the states to look for those kinds of things, to work with them closely on enforcement models and give them that national perspective. we talked about the information sharing that's vital between the bureau and the state attorneys general and the regulators and certainly, i am committed to
sharing that appropriate information with them to support their efforts and look at the right opportunity for the bureau to step in from a national viewpoint. >> rules issued by the cfpb can also be enforced by state ags. do you support empowering the ags by issuing rules through the cfpb? >> i believe it is an essential responsibility of the bureau to engage in the rule making? >> that's a yes? >> yes, senator. >> a rule deeply important to me is every american has a day in court no matter their race or creed or where they come from or who they know. have you ever signed a contract that included a mandatory arbitration clause? >> senator, i believe that i probably have through credit card companies -- >> did you read the mandatory arbitration clause before you signed it?
>> as a lawyer, i do try to read those things, and i have actually read them in the past. >> were you aware that you were foregoing your right to sue when you signed the contract? >> senator, i certainly was aware of what the clauses were that were in the contract. i can't assure you that that's what was there, but i -- >> do you believe that ordinary american americans page through and read the fine print of these contracts and are aware they're signing away their rights? >> many do not. that's why the responsibility of the bureau and statute is important in understanding that the bureau has a rule for looking at those things. >> do you support the cfpbee mandatory rule? >> they said through the congressional review act to preclude that rule from going forward. from that standpoint, it's addressed in that manner. >> do you believe all consumers have a right to their day in court? >> senator, i believe through contract relationships and in
general there are opportunities for consumers to take action, including coming to the bureau and submitting their complaints. >> have you ever investigatepay card company? >> senator, i have supported investigations in many of my roles. i believe actually in terms of financial crimes that the secret service investigations oversees there has been some involvement with those institutions. >> personally you've never been involved in the prosecution or investigation? >> not of financial institutions directly, no. >> have you ever brought a legal action and as counsel formulated a case against a bank, payday lender or credit card company? >> please be brief. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i see my time is up. thank you both for being here. i will tell you, i do, as well, have concerns about someone without the experience to lead a consumer financial protection
bureau, 1600 employees, millions of dollars in budget that is looking out for the best interest of consumers. i have concerns about what i've heard from you today as being the right person with the right experience to lead. let me also say, ms. reed, i look forward to supporting your nomination. thank you. >> senator reed? >> thank you
very much, mr. chairman. thank you both for your willingness to serve. ii assume you're familiar with the military lending act. so if a service member would prefer to go to court to enforce his or her right instead of being forced into arbitration, do you think that service member's choice should be protected? >> yes, to the extent it's provided under the law. >> the military lending act has been recently strengthened by the defense with new regulations
to close loopholes and to prevent unscrupulous lenders from preying upon service members, men and women. and having in my early days been an executive at a company, i've seen this firsthand. do you support stronger rules and will you enforce them to the extent possible? >> i'm
committed to enforcing the law. >> the rule making pointed out that one of the impacts on service members in their military careers is financial instability caused by being exploited and that affects their performance. so the military lending act, i'm very concerned and involved in, it helps our readiness. one of the things i think that we had to accept was the limit
on interest charged to an individual service member is 36%. do you think that is too high given the current market rates which are even for credit products are about 16%? >> senator, certainly the rate varies associated with what the product is and what the risks are available. i support competition in the marketplace, such as service members and others have the opportunity to avail themselves of different options in the market based on what their financial needs are. >> but the question is that we statutorily set the top rate at 36%. but given current rates in the market, roughly 16% for the return on the dow jones, my view is we should be able to lower those rates. would you be supportive of legislation that would lower those rates? >> i appreciate where you're coming from but i think it
depends on what the product is and what the conditions are and terms are. there are various products in the marketplace when it comes to short dollar lendings that are there. it differs from the credit card products or other products in the market. >> well, i would hope that we could work, my colleagues and i, to lower that interest rate to make it more competitive to what's available in the market for most products, regardless of how long the duration. did you or anyone with whom you worked with at omb on homeland security or justice department issues ever refer to the policy of separating children at the border as a deterrent? >> that may have been in public comments by individuals but i am not sure. >> have you ever used that? have you ever heard anyone discussing it? >> senator, recognizing that in
2014 that was something that was discussed and the courts actually ruled on it, that was determined at least in, i believe, the southern district of california as not appropriate. so i appreciate where you're coming from. >> do you feel it's not appropriate right now? >> these are very difficult, challenging issues. the sovereign nation should defend its borders, i believe, and at the same time, there are a lot of circumstances from people around the world who wish -- >> do you think separating children from their parents is the way to deter border crossings? >> senator, again, i don't want to talk about -- >> you don't want to talk about it, but i'm asking a question. >> i don't want to characterize the internal conversations -- >> i'm asking what you feel, ma'am. >> i understand, senator, but it does go down the road of personal opinion. >> your values and judgment and those things we look for when you evaluate someone who going
to be -- lead the cfpb. that's where it goes down that road. i would suspect that you probably have done that or you feel that way. do you feel that way? >> senator, i don't believe my personal opinions or feelings on this issue are the appropriate line of discussion. i understand why you're asking. i do believe that there are certainly have been to many places in the world. i've spent time in guatemala. i served in the peace corps. i understand the country that we have today that is an amazing country where we have many freedoms that others in the world do not. and i certainly appreciate that this is a place where people would like to come to enjoy those freedoms. >> so i can only assume that you in fact, used the term deter and didn't object to it and feel that's appropriate policy consideration. so thank you very much. thank you. >> senator heitkamp. >> first, thanks to my colleagues who are letting me go ahead of them.
i'm greatly appreciative. i don't know what it's going to cost me at the end of the day, but i'm sure it's a big favor coming their way. i want to again encourage the chairman to move this nomination. he knows how diligent we've been working to get the ex-im bank up and running. where i appreciate senator toomey's concerns, i do not want to associate myself with the characterizations he made about the ex/im bank. it's been a tragedy and i'm glad you're moving forward and i want to encourage the chairman to move enough of these nominees forward with majority leader mcconnell to get the ex/im bank up and running. so obviously great credentials. we liked you the last time you were here. i think you're perfect for this job. good luck. and we want to do everything we can to get you across the finish line. ms. kraninger. i have a series yfs and no questions. it's not about morality or anything else.
it's about your experience. and i don't want equivocation. just yes or no, if we can do that. have you ever worked at a bank or credit union? >> senator, i have not. like many other -- >> have you ever had oversight or regulated a bank or credit union? >> no, senator, i have not, like many other -- >> have you ever been responsible for oversight or leadership in supervising payday lenders? >> no, senator, i have not, like many another. >> have you had experience work with credit bureaus, debt collectors and student loan processors? >> senator, in a professional capacity like many other nominees, i have not had direct experience with that. >> have you had any final decision-making responsibility for enforcing federal -- state or federal consume procedure techs laws? >> senator, again, like many other nominees approaching different positions, i have not -- >> so the answer is no. have you had any experience under the equal credit opportunity act, any final
responsibility for leadership there? >> senator, i have not. but i've certainly made myself familiar with these acts and the responsibilities of the bureau. >> have you ever worked or volunteered your time on matters related to consumer protection? >> no, senator. i don't believe that i have. i've certainly volunteered my time -- >> have you ever worked on financial literacy or worked on promoting financial literacy? >> yes, senator, i have done that. i have some experience in working with individuals on that. particularly, i was in college. we did have a program to promote financial literacy. >> and what did you do to -- what was your involvement in that program? >> working a little bit on curriculum in the area so it is something that is definitely important to the roles and responsibilities i would be taking on as director. >> do you have a ph.d. or masters degree in economics or finance? >> like many other nominees in
these positions, no, i do not. >> while you were in law school, what classes did you take regarding consumer protection? >> senator, i -- it was a long time ago so i don't remember every class i took. but the -- >> but you remember what you did in college relative to financial literacy, so -- >> the administrative procedures act was something that i studied extensively. i took a class in privacy law. i did take a class in other -- cybersecurity law actually as a matter of fact. those are all relevant to the discussions we're having here today as well as corporations, which i know was required of every individual in the program that i took. >> okay. thank you. i think the point that i'm trying to make is this is a highly technical job. and, you know, simply having the skill sets of a law degree and having some familiarity with the operation of the administrative
agencies practice act, i think gets us to a point where we have to judge. not -- i'm not asking you about morality. i'm not asking crow about anything. i'm just asking you about your core competencies here for the job that you've been nominated for. and so i think, obviously, you are highly competent and a trained professional. we just -- i just think that maybe we ought to have somebody who understands kind of the hurt, who has had experience as senator cortez master talked about with the crisis, has had experience in dealing with people who have -- and has empathy. and i think to senator reed's point. it may seem irrelevant, but this is a job where literally people are on the edge, where they don't know if they're going to make payroll, they don't know if they'll put food on the table. and we want somebody in that job who not only has core competency but some empathy. and so thank you so much, and my time is up. thank you to my colleagues.
>> thank you. senator van holhollen. >> thank you both for your testimony here today. just to follow up on some of these questions because i understood some of the concerns you expressed about not getting too deeply into the internal deliberations and advice you offer. i understood that part. but now you're going to be heading up an independence agency. this is an independent agency, is it not? >> yes, senator, it is. >> and it's not that you're going to be in a line position simply enforcing the policy from above. you're going to play a key role in developing policy as the head of an independent agency. so i do believe your personal views on a range of issues are important in that context. and i wasn't here for all the questioning of senator warren. i heard senator reed's question. and is it your position that you
are not going to answer the question about whether or not you personally supported the policy of family separation, separating kids from their parents. what is your personal view on that policy? >> senator, i appreciate greatly the questions that you're raising, and happy to discuss qualifications and my judgment. i've certainly always given my best advice to every person that i have worked for in my career and that is very important to me and as well as keeping that advice and perspective close. >> i think it's one thing to not share openly advice that you're giving within the administration, but given the fact that you are now going to head an independent agency, where your views and positions will definitely inform a lot of the actions that you will take, i do think it's troubling that you won't share that information with the committee. let me ask you about the office
of fair lending and equal opportunity. because in our state of maryland, like so many other places in the country, we've had a bad history of discrimination in lending in many places. there was a case against wells fargo in baltimore a little more than ten years ago. other cases where it was established that they discriminated against african-americans and people of color. do you agree this is a continuing problem we have to face in this country fighting discrimination in lending? >> yes, senator, i do. i think it's incredibly unfortunate. discrimination should have no place to society, much less the markets, but it certainly exists. >> one of the things that was established when the cfpb was established was the office of fair lending equal opportunities i mentioned. and one of the first things the acting director mulvaney did was he moved fair housing out of that office. would you be willing to put
those enforcement authorities into the office of fair housing and equal opportunity? >> i can ensure you that enforcing the fair lending laws is a critical responsibility. whether it happens in the division of supervision or whether it happens in a reconstituted fair lending office is definitely something that i can commit to you that i will look at and review freshly in talking to the staff that are there and understanding how their responsibilities have changed. looking fresh at the organization is something i will do. >> i think it was rightfully interpreted at the time as weakening the authority. the folks paying close attention every day and doing the supervising are probably in the best position to do the enforcement and having the enforcement authority, obviously, helps them in terms of getting the attention of the folks that they're overseeing. same with the office of student
lending. as you know, acting director mulvaney abolished the office of student lending. would you be willing to re-establish that, given the fact that we have students who have trillions of dollars of debt and, in many cases, they're also issues with respect to the fair -- their contract, their loan contracts, as you know, there are a number of lawsuits going on. would you be willing to re-establish that office given the centrality of that issue? >> senator, i agree that student lending is an important issue. it's certainly something congress is looking at and there have been a lot of changes in that under the law in recent years. at the same time, i want to note that i will absolutely review the structure of the organization and i will certainly consider that with an open mind. >> the last thing i will ask regarding the child separation policies, you know there's been
a court decision. ordering the administration to reunite these children with their parents within a certain period of time. the administration has missed those deadlines. there's a resource issue. in your capacity at omb, i hope you will work with -- as you go through this process here, i hope you work with us to get a supplemental appropriation. because i'm hearing there's an article in politico the other day saying that the administration was planning on taking resources from other parts of the department of education to pay the cost of complying with the court order and i think that we'd be better served if we find those resources to meet this quarter order without robbing another part of the department of education. your familiar with that issue? >> senator, i'm not. it mufts be within the department of health and human services which is not my -- >> sorry. >> it must be within health and
human services which is not in my purview but i'm theep takior concerns back. >> senator jones? >> thank you for this hearing. i apologize for being in and out. so i do apologize. i want to follow up on a couple of things. i know that director mulvaney and i think you have talked about getting back to the statutory mission of the agency which i appreciate. but one of the missions, one of the objectives, consumers are being protected from unfair, deseptsive or abusive action and practices and from discrimination. for millions and millions of americans, that last clause may be the most important, particularly people of color. folks these days, someone can look just like i do, which would be really sad, to be honest with you, but they could look like i do have the same credit, have the same income, same profession
and yet another person who has a different skin color would get offered a different financial product. and so i want to ask, first, do you plan on making fair lending a priority, if you are confirmed? >> senator, to your point, i think it is abhorrent that discrimination exists in society and in the markets, and i am committed to enforcing the law, absolutely, to address any of the issues we find in that area. >> thank you for that. now discrimination today takes a lot of different forms. it can have the disparate impact on a group. so i'd like to get your thought
on how you'll view cases and use disparate impact in looking at the broader section of a minority group and whether that would come into play and what your feelings are about disparate uses. that's used in a lot of the legal cases that i've been involved in. you can't always prove the specific intent. how do you feel about disparate impact in the cfpb cases? >> i appreciate the question and appreciate the point that you're raising because, yes, in many cases, this could be a more subtle action. i think there are a few things that the bureau can do in this area. certainly in terms of working through the supervision process to your point if there is no intent, this is something that can be looked at. at the same time with respect to court cases and enforcement actions, as you're well aware, the arguments about disparate impact are very complicated and it is a challenging area and legally speaking.
so i can commit to you that should i be confirmed in this position, when i get to the bureau, i will have a detailed conversation with the staff on this area to understand what positions the bureau has taken in the past on this issue. and what the status of litigation is on the issue and take the appropriate actions to ensure that we are promoting fair lending. >> i think they've used it in the past and somewhat successfully but director mulvaney has said he wants to get away from it. would you be willing to take another look at using disparate impact on an entire community. whether there's a sign that says we'll not give this person a loan because they're black or asian, but if they are -- it's affecting a broad swath of minority consumers, would you be willing to take a look at using the disparate impact theory to help resolve some issues of discrimination? >> i'll commit to you in establishing clear rules and making sure they are enforced. that i will look at this issue,
absolutely. >> i'm not sure if that's a yes or no. i'm going to take it as a yes, but i would like to go back to a little bit of senator tester. i was hear for his comments and i was a little bit -- and we talked about this the other day. i appreciate you coming in and talking to me about the payday lending rules that have been worked back. and i guess what concerns me a little bit in our meeting and then with senator tester, you talked about a respect for the process and the rule-making process. but the payday lending rule went through a five-year process. it went through a lot of comments. i mean thousands if not tens of thousands or a million. but it was a ton for a five-year process. it got finalized and then director mulvaney on his own decided to walk that back and start that process all over again.
and so i'm a little bit concerned that we're now respecting a process that hasn't been respected before. and i'd like for you to comment on that and what you plan on doing because it's a huge issue in my state. 250,000 people took out 2 million loans. that's an average of eight of these loans per person. and it's a huge process. it's really hurting these people a lot. so i'd like to get a little better clarity when talking about respecting a process that is already going on. what do you mean with the consumer lending right now? >> senator, i truly appreciated your time, and i recognize this is a difficult issue in many states. they have taken different actions for a myriad of reasons, whether it's authority or, you know, willingness, frankly, on payday lending. what i mean in terms of the process is that the acting director has announced that the reconsideration of that rule and
from that standpoint, the basis for that reconsideration and what aspects are being reconsidered is not something that i am privy to, nor has it been discussed publicly. so that's the process that is ongoing within the bureau under active consideration. >> senator donnelly? >> i want to thank the witnesses and your families. i'm a strong supporter of the export/import bank. our country's export credit agency. it helps american businesses export goods and services and compete in the global marketplace. the ex/im bank doesn't cost taxpayers a dime. in fact, it's returned billions to the treasury. it protects and creates countless jobs across the country. in indiana since 2012 the ex/im bank has helped 84 hoosier companies including 63 small businesses, to export more than $2 billion in goods and services overseas. in 2015, i worked with senator
heitkamp and a bipartisan group of colleagues to end a six-month shutdown of the bank. unfortunately, ex/im is still not running at full steam because it lacks a three-fifths board membership required to obtain a quorum and approve transactions over $10 million. there's a backlog of $42 billion in deals representing 250,000 jobs stuck in a pipeline awaiting approval. we need a fully operating export/import bank now morthan ever. while the u.s. has handcuffed its own export credit agency in recent years, our international competitors have significantly increased their efforts. there's at least 85 foreign export credit agencies aggressively supporting their own domestic industries, china, brazil and india are doubling down on their export credit agencies. not only that, but current trade policies are damaging the foreign markets, our hoosier
farmers and manufacturers have spent decades developing. now trade policy is making it worse. to grow and maintain a strong economy, we need to send american goods, indiana goods, all over the world. our businesses deserve a level playing field with their foreign competitors. policymakers should make it easier, not harder, for businesses to do that. ms. reed, these are fairly simple questions. you don't have to go into a long explanation on them. do you agree foreign countries are aggressively investing in their own export credit agencies in order to boost their domestic industries? >> yes. >> do you agree the u.s. is hurting itself by not having a fully functioning ex/im bank when its competitors are increasing resources for their export credit agencies? >> yes, i do. >> do you agree ex/im bank helps hoosier businesses like manufacturers and farmers develop foreign markets for u.s. goods and services? >> absolutely. >> just months ago, this committee approved ms. reed's nomination for ex/im vice president with an overwhelming 20-3 vote.
now he's nominated as president of ex/im. i encourage that confirmation as soon as possible to bring fresh leadership. hopefully her confirmation will be followed by fellow board nomes and we can allow the ex/im bank to return to full strength for the first time in several years creating more american jobs again. a strong ex/im bank whose exports create jobs and returns money to our taxpayers. ms. kraninger, two months under, the cfpb announced it would eliminate its student loan office and merge it into another office. i don't know of an area where young people in my state have incurred more decbt than in the area of student loans. for many of them it's prevented them from being able to buy homes, cars, being able to fully participate in our country and our economy. a recent report finds 60% of indiana's college graduates leave with student loan debt. and the average is $29,000 per
student. i saw your answer to mr. van holland before about reinstating the student loan office. i'm a strong supporter of that. you're going to review that. i would urge you very, very much to do that. what are your plans for protecting student borrowers? >> senator, this is an important issue, and certainly under the law, the bureau was provided the responsibility for looking at student loan -- private student loans. >> now that they've closed down the office, what are you plans? do you plan -- you said you'd look at reopening it. what specific plans do you have right now in regards to student loans? >> so senator, there is the position of the private student loan ombudsman. so certainly first order issue is going to be sit down with the individuals in that office to understand the activities that they have ongoing. i appreciate the priority you're placing in this, and it is certainly something i want to
understand better. at the same time with the federal role in student lending, both origination with 92% of the originations today happening at the department of education, and with their efforts to actually bring servicing into the department of education, i think that is another area that i can tell you is a priority. it's sitting down with the officials at the department of ed to talk through what their efforts are there, where the bureau can be helpful and what role the bureau -- >> for many of our young people, they're looking to you for help because interest rates are -- if you look at the interest rate on a house and student loan, and, obviously, they're different products, but you have young people paying incredibly high interest rates who look and feel they may never get out from under this burden that they have. and they'll never be able to buy a home. and they'll never be able to buy a car. and that's an extraordinarily discouraging situation for people across our country. one other question i want to
ask. mr. mulvaney once call the cfpb a joke in a sad, sick kind of way. do you share his sentiments? >> senator mulvaney has responded to those comments. i support the bureau as it was established in congress and the roles and responsibilities it was -- >> but what i asked you is did you think it was a sad, sick joke the way it was being run? >> senator, i support the bureau's mission and look forward to, if confirmed, rigorously -- >> this is simple yes or no. do you like peanut butter or not? do you think it was a sad, sick joke the way it was being run. >> those are not words i would use and i believe the director has responded to those comments since. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> we've had a request by several members of the committee for a second round. i will agree to that, although we'll hold it to five minutes. the senators have been taking quite a bit of liberty today and
we're well past the time we should have allocated. >> i did not take much liberty. >> i will accept your comments, senator donnelly. so we will do that. senator brown? >> thanks, chairman. you talked a lot about accountability and transparency at the cfpb. when you submitted paperwork to this committee you had to disclose any campaign contributions from the last eight years above $500, correct? >> yes, senator, i believe -- i don't have the form in front of me, but i believe that was the request. >> you didn't make a $500 donation to governor kasich's campaign but two separate $250 donations. you didn't disclose that, correct? >> i believe the, again, i did disclose exactly what was requested by the committee, senator. i don't remember the exact facts. i don't have the paper in front of me to note it was above $500. >> i don't believe what you just
said was true. well, let me ask again. did you disclose -- you didn't disclose the contributions to mitt romney's campaign that were under the 500 threshold but more than 600 total. so two contributions. you didn't think that qualified for what you should disclose? >> senator, i believe there was a time period. i don't have the documents in front of me. if you have them ides be happy to look at them. >> we do. >> you made contributions to kasich, to jeb bush. do you know -- and that should have been disclosed under law or under the rules of this committee. did you make any other donations to the 2016 presidential campaign? >> senator, i believe those are the only two that i did make, yes. >> you didn't answer in that first round my question of whether you would appeal the 9/11 scammer case. you said you'd implement the law. who decides whether to appeal or not? >> senator, i'm not familiar with the details of where that case is. i certainly appreciate -- >> but who decides whether to
appeal a case or not at the cfpb? >> the director does have the authority to determine these things. at the same time, if a case is actually headed to the supreme court, the bureau does not have independent representation authority. >> so do you plan to defend the agency in this case when the scammer 9/11 case? >> senator, without the benefit of being inside the bureau to understand the positions and litigation strategy that was taken, that's a very challenging question to answer. and i don't want to prejudge that either. the opportunity to speak with the general counsel to understand the positions they have taken, to understand the conversations they may have had with the department of justice given the fact the bureau cannot represent itself is something that i would certainly undertake should i be confirmed. >> not long ago, i think it was in may, director mulvaney teamed up with a group of payday lenders to sue the cfpb, the agency he claimed to be leading. and to delay its payday rule.
you are a lawyer. do you think agencies should sue themselves to present -- prevent consumer protections from being implemented? >> senator, i think the responsibility is clear in the statute for the director to carry out the law and manage the bureau appropriately. that is certainly what i would pledge to do. and i'd certainly pledge to work with all of you in carrying out those responsibilities. >> do you think it's proper for an agency to sue -- for an agency chief to sue itself to sue himself or herself, itself? >> senator, i'm not familiar with the details or the internal deliberations -- >> i think you must know -- it's not a question of internal deliberations. do you think it's proper for the head of an agency to sue that -- to team up with outside interests, whether you generally are pro payday lenders as mulvaney from has biz travels and exhortations and political
contributions certainly was. but whether or not you are close to or supportive of an interest group, do you think it's proper for an agency to join outside interest groups and an agency chief to sue that agency? >> senator, being unfamiliar with the specific facts that you are articulating here, i don't know the basis -- >> i will tell you, it would certainly be unusual. it would certainly be -- >> that was not my -- i appreciate your agility. that was not my question, commenting on that case. i'm saying do you think it's proper for an agency chief to join -- you're a lawyer. i'm not. maybe you're at an advantage here. is it proper for an agency chief to join an outside interest group to sue the agency itself? >> it is certainly unusual. >> thank you. i know -- we've established it's unusual. we know that. you don't know the specifics, at least you say you don't know the
specifics of the case. that's fine, too. is it proper for an agency chief to sue its own agency with or on behalf of an interest group that has business in front of that agency? >> senator, i can tell you that i come to this position without any particular special interests, other than serve -- >> can you just say no, it's not proper. or yes it is proper. or no, i'll never do it or yes, maybe i will do it? >> it's unusual and i'm sure again there are reasons that action may have been taken that i'm not privy to. but, again, i certainly pledge to you that i will carry out the duties and responsibilities of this position to the best of my ability. >> senator warren? >> thank you, mr. chairman. all right. so you don't have any experience in consumer finance or consumer protection. no qualifications at all. evidently, the one thing that you have done in your career is work on president trump's 2019
fiscal year budget request for the cfpb. and the trump administration has used that now claiming that this gives some insight into how you would run the agency. so this is an are you qualified question that at least according to the trump administration should be directly in your area of supposed expertise. the cfpb sets its own budget. so the budget you proposed had no effect on the agency? >> that is correct. >> and on top of that, the budget for the cfpb is a single top line number. it doesn't wrak down how the cfpb would adjust its spending to reach that number. >> that is correct. >> you are the budget expert. let's talk about how the cfpb would meet the budget that you drafted. your budget for 2019 calls for a 23% cut relative the cfpb's proposed 2019 budget. that's about $147 million cut.
cfpb's number one expense representing more than half its total cost is compensation and benefits of its employees. other than the director and the dozen new political appointees that mick mulvaney has brought to the agency, every other cfpb employee is a civil servant. so in order to achieve the 23% cut you've proposed, would you fire civil servants? >> senator, first let me clarify that it is the president's budget request and not mine. certainly i did -- >> can we just do this? would you fire civil servants? is that your plan? >> to your point, 53% of the funds that were utilized under director cordray were for salaries and benefits of people. so -- >> so are you saying -- can you just give me a yes or no? will you fire civil servants? >> there are laws in place that protect civil servants. >> so is the answer no?
good. >> the answer is 53% with salaries and benefits which leaves a significant amount of funds for another. >> i'm going to ask for extra time if we're going to keep playing this game. it's a straight forward, will you fire civil servants. it's not hard. this is your area of expertise. your budget that you put forth. do you contemplate firing civil servants to meet your $147 million cut? yes? no? >> it's not my budget. it's the president's budget. >> then does the president's budget, as drawn up by you and offered as your expertise for this job contemplate firing civil service employees? >> senator, the proposal to congress is what the president's budget reflects, and it was a discussion on the debt and deficit situation. that was certainly the -- >> so in other words we're just playing dodgeball here. you're not going to fire civil servants, then let's see how you'll try and make this up. the next largest set of
expenditures for outside contracts, big chunk goes to maintaining the agency's cybersecurity. do you plan on reducing cybersecurity? >> so 31% of the funds in fy '17 was for outside contractor services. that certainly is a big part. >> can we stop playing dodgeball. do you plan to cut expenditures? the next biggest investment is on cybersecurity. do you plan to cut on cybersecurity? >> senator, i do believe that other contract services line is something that does need to be examined. >> do you plan to cut on cybersecurity. it's the next biggest line. >> cybersecurity and i.t. investment are important to the organization's carrying out -- >> is that a no? you won't cut? >> i think it's something that needs to be examined. >> does that mean cut or not cut? >> without being inside the bureau and going through line by line -- >> so you might cut cybersecurity. there could be opportunity within the contract. >> so the next largest expense is travel costs. as i assume you know, most of
the agency's travel cost is because the agency sends examiners to visit the financial companies that they supervise so they can actually make sure that they're complying with the law. that supervision is required by dodd/frank. would you cut back on examinations and supervision in order to achieve the 23% cut you need to achieve? >> looking at travel, i think is a legitimate consideration. >> recognizing that this is travel to go enforce the law at the banks. you would cut that back? >> i think looking at the travel and looking at the efficient distribution of staff is something that's -- >> so you're thinking about cutting back so we don't send as many back to enforce. even if you got travel costs to zero, you would not be any place close to what you put forward as the proposed budget. so where is the $147 billion? the 23% cut coming from?
can you just tell me where the areas are you plan to cut that's going to get us there? >> please keep your response brief. >> this was the president's budget request and i pledged to you that i'll look at every line item within this bureau's budget. >> no, you don't get to dance away by saying it's the president's budget. the president has offered you up as saying this is your expertise. your one piece of consumer protection expertise is you put together a budget for the cfpb. so what i want to know is you proposed a 23% cut. $147 million. give me some ideas about how you actually would make $147 million cut at that agency? >> please respond briefly. >> senator, i believe there are opportunities for efficiency in consideration and it may involve spending funds on other activities that are underfunded.
so i pledge that i'll look at carefully the budget of the bureau. >> so let's just be clear. i want to be clear. she has dodged around this for this entire question -- line of questions. the one thing you've done in your career that is related to the cfpb is to come up with a budget number. and the budget number simply doesn't add up. you cannot explain how that agency can do its work if it has a 23% budget cut that you put together and the trump administration offers as your expertise. the only thing you can come up with is, well, maybe you'll cut travel, which means there will be less enforcement. and i know that will make bank lenders happy, payday lenders happy, but it doesn't reflect an acknowledge of the cfpb or any commitment to the cfpb's central mission of trying to protect consumers and level the playing field. >> senator tillis.
>> ms. kraninger, a lot of people have tried to boil complex subjects down into simple yes/no answers. there's only one i heard i feel we deserve an answer from. do you or do you not like peanut butter? because outside of that question, it's absurd for anybody up here to say that this was nothing more than the sort of gotcha tactics that some members use to try and -- well, support their narrative. now i'm going to get on to omb. how big is the cfpb? how many employees? >> about 1600 employees. >> do you think within that employee base that you have a few economists and finance experts and people that have worked for credit agencies or worked for business lending or, you know, any number of financial fields? >> yes, senator, i have a wide variety of skill sets and exp
expertise that's being brought to bear. >> would you see yourself coming in early and writing out the policies or directing the affairs of the agency and the priorities? >> senator, it is certainly the latter. directing the priorities and expecting the staff to put forward the policies that align. >> how big was the scope of your portfolio, or how big is the scope of your portfolio at omb, with respect to the whole of the administration? >> it is roughly one-fifth of the total government. $250 billion in resources. 37 agencies. >> so you have a lot of time in your day. i was in research and development early in my career in the '80s in boston. i was a product manager. when we were formulating a technology policy, i'd bring r&d, i'd bring manufacturing, finance, marketing together. it was the scientists that worked under my matrix supervision who came up with the ideas. and then these other organizations to figure out the complexities, the pipes, all
that you needed to do to pay for it, administer it. would you kind of consider that to be an analogue to your role in office of budget and management, not formulating policy but implementing it? >> yes, senator, that certainly is the case. and with a wide variety of staff and variety of topics. >> which is why i find it remarkable that anybody would suggest that you were actively engaged in the formulation of the policy on child separations. you have certain -- if you look at child separations, it's something i know a lot about because i've proposed -- i love the passion here about solving the child separation problem. ides like to see that rhetoric go from this senate committee to the floor where we have a solution. and i'll be talking about it on the floor a little bit later today. because i sometimes wonder whether or not people really want to solve this problem or if they want to use it to come here and pretend that only the president can solve the problem. it's the congress that can solve that problem. and once we pass that bill, in
your current capacity, we would expect you to figure out how to implement the policy. it's frustrating to me to see the passion expressed about certain issues in this committee and an absolute vacuum in the chamber where we can actually produce a result. this, by the way, is not leading up to a yes/no question. but can you tell me, just a little bit more about, again, on a day-to-day basis, to what extent in your entire tenure in office at omb that you have ever been actively engaged in crafting the policy choices. >> senator, that's a very fair question. in terms of what generally comes before the office of management and budget, it is what the agencies are formulating. they put forward what their leadership would like to pursue. or they have received direction from the president about activities that they should undertake, and they are
formulating the manner and how to address what the president's priorities are and what he's asked of them. and then we are supporting that effort. >> so again, first off, i want to congratulate you on your nomination and for the family members, thank you all for being here. i know that these hearings can be somewhat troubling but you should never forget the fact that these two nominees have had very distinguished careers and are very deserving of the nomination. you all should be proud of it. i just want to say, i hope that the focus on child separations that i saw in this room translate to people who want to solve the problem. we are down to what i consider to be very minor differences, if people look at it and within their hearts they truly want to keep families together, congress needs to fix this problem. you didn't craft the legislation. you were trying to determine how to implement's policy and we should put a mirror on the
members of the u.s. senate and say why aren't you fixing this problem? thank you, mr. chair. >> that does conclude the questioning for senators wishing to submit questions for the record they are due in one week, july 24th. we ask both nominees to respond to these questions by tuesday, july 31 so that we can vote that week on the nominations. we thank you both for joining the committee today. as senator tillis indicated, sometimes these committee hearings get intense. we appreciate you willing to come forward and put yourself forward for service to the country. with that, this hearing is adjourned.
this weekend on american history tv, on c-span3 -- saturday at 6:00 p.m. on the civil war, william marvel, author of lincoln's mercenaries, explains the economic factors that drove many poor northerners to volunteer. at 8:00 on lectures in history, san diego state university professor pierre asalene on the vietnam war from u.s. military escalation in 1965 to the fall of saigon ten years later. sunday at 11:00 a.m., military historian patrick o'donnell and his book "the unknowns" the untold story of america's unknown soldier and world war i's most decorated heroes who brought him home. at 4:30 p.m. eastern on reel america, as part of the alaska weekend, four films about alaska. the 1936 film "alaska silver millions." the 1949 film "eskimo hunters in northwestern alaska." the 1967 film "alaska
centennial" and 1944 film "alaska highway." watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. i'm pleased with the nominee that the president has chosen. and after talking to him, yesterday morning. i look forward to supporting his nomination and doing whatever i can to insure his bipartisan confirmation. >> judge kavanaugh is confirmed, women's freedom to make decisions about their bodies, reforms to our health care system, the quality of our air
and water and much more will be at risk. >> frankly, i cannot think of anybody who is more qualified to serve as the next associate justice of the supreme court. >> follow the confirmation process on c-span. through congress as judge kavanaugh meets with key senators. the senate confirmation hearings, and the vote. watch live on c-span, or listen with the free c-span radio app. a forum with current and former strategists leading up to the 2018 and 2020 elections. former agriculture secretary tom vilsack, new orleans mayor mitch landrieu and several house lawmakers share their views. new democracy hosted this event.