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Despite opposition from Democrats, Senate confirms Trump’s consumer watchdog pick

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The U.S. Senate voted 50-49 on Thursday to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. consumer watchdog despite opposition from Democrats and consumer groups who say she is unqualified.

Kathy Kraninger will serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), replacing acting chief Mick Mulvaney, after Trump signs a declaration approving her five-year term.

The banking industry and consumer groups will be watching to see whether Kraninger, who is currently a senior official at the White House budget office, will take on Mulvaney’s mantle and continue to aggressively curtail the CFPB’s enforcement and rule-writing agenda.

Kraninger faced criticism during her nomination hearing in July about the role she played in the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents.

Kraninger, who works closely with Mulvaney at the Office of Management and Budget, has denied having a role in setting or developing that policy but said she attended meetings relating to its implementation.

The CFPB was formed in 2011 under Democratic President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis to protect ordinary Americans from predatory lending.

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Democrats say the agency plays a critical role in protecting consumers, but Republicans have repeatedly criticized the CFPB as heavy-handed and overreaching.

“The Senate majority has endorsed for CFPB a nominee indistinguishable from Mick Mulvaney, who has done his level best to dismantle from within an agency that once won real results for American families hurt by Wall Street and predatory lenders,” Lisa Donner, who heads the consumer advocacy group, Americans for Financial Reform, said in a statement.

Industry groups said on Thursday, however, that Kraninger’s strong managerial experience at the budget office where she manages the budget for the financial regulators made her a good fit for the agency.

“We learned during her nomination hearing that she believes in promoting competition and appropriately tailoring regulations by taking into account both costs and benefits,” Rob Nichols, president and chief executive of the American Bankers Association, said in a statement.

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“We share those views, and believe those principles will benefit consumers.”

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Michelle Price and Peter Cooney

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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The Vatican’s latest official document is an insult to LGBTQ people — and to history

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During the fourth-century, Sergius and Bacchus, two inseparable Syrian soldiers in the Roman emperor Galerius’ army, were outed as secret Christians when they refused to pay homage to the god Jupiter. The incensed emperor ordered them beaten, chained, and then, as their fourth-century hagiographer explained, paraded through the barracks with “all other military garb removed… and women’s clothing placed on them.” Both men were sent to trial; Bacchus refused to abjure his faith in Christ and was beaten to death by his fellow Roman soldiers as punishment. The night before Sergius was to be similarly asked to recant his Christianity, the spirit of Bacchus appeared before his partner. With his “face as radiant as an angel’s, wearing an officer’s uniform,” Bacchus asked, “Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union.”

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Trump drowned in ‘heavy metal jokes’ after trying to tag Dem challengers as ‘motley crew’

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President Donald Trump trotted out a new catchphrase to mock the field of Democratic presidential candidates, but it didn't get quite the reaction he may have hoped.

The president insisted polls looked good for his re-election chances, despite leaked internal polling that says otherwise, and tried to tag his potential 2020 challengers as a "motley crew."

Only Fake Polls show us behind the Motley Crew. We are looking really good, but it is far too early to be focused on that. Much work to do! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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Trump betting he can win re-election by spinning new conspiracy theories to explain investigations: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump's association with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election may be over. But that does not mean the president is free from oversight.

According to Politico, Trump is still facing 15 civil and criminal probes by at least nine federal, state, and municipal agencies on everything from obstruction of justice to campaign finance violations to using his office to enrich his family and businesses. But president is not bothered by these investigations — or at least, he believes that he can use them to his political advantage.

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