Moderate Dem says she will oppose CFPB nominee in committee vote

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WASHINGTON — One day before the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to vote on Kathy Kraninger's confirmation to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a moderate Democrat on the panel said she plans to oppose the nominee.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., has compromised with Republicans on key issues, in particular her support for the recent regulatory relief law, and has supported other regulatory appointments by the Trump administration. But she said Kraninger has not demonstrated enough of a background in consumer protection issues.

“I’m going to vote no,” Heitkamp said in an interview with American Banker. “I was prepared actually to vote yes, but … I’m concerned about [Kraninger's] depth of experience in consumer protection."

Heitkamp, who faces a tough re-election battle in a state President Trump won in 2016, was a key vote in favor of the Senate's reg relief law. She and other moderates on the committee negotiated the final legislative package with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

But her comments on Kraninger suggest that the vote for the CFPB nominee will fall strictly along party lines.

Heitkamp said she was also "concerned" that Kraninger did not believe in the CFPB's "overall mission, which is really to protect consumers."

"I didn’t get a sense that there was a level of empathy for consumers,” she said.

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Financial regulations Kathy Kraninger Mike Crapo CFPB Senate Banking Committee