WASHINGTON — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is keeping busy on her August recess, talking housing finance reform and meeting with community bankers in her home state of North Dakota.

The freshman Democrat and member of the Senate Banking Committee hosted Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, on Wednesday to hear directly from local bankers about their business concerns.

"Today, North Dakota's bankers had an incredible opportunity to help drive home that policies made in Washington shouldn't prevent our small lenders from thriving," said Heitkamp in a press release. "I'm fighting on the Senate Banking Committee to rein in the abuses of Wall Street, but we need to be careful that we aren't inadvertently harming North Dakota banks at the same time. Lenders in our state weren't responsible for the economic downturn, and they — as well as our families and businesses — shouldn't be punished for the irresponsible actions of bigger banks."

Heitkamp, a co-sponsor on a Senate bill to overhaul the mortgage finance market, then led a statewide housing summit on Thursday with community leaders to discuss action in Congress and issues like affordable housing and infrastructure. The event brought together local housing officials, banks and real estate agencies, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others.

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