Just weeks after he failed to show up to do his job and question President Trump’s nominee to run the nation’s top consumer watchdog agency, Sen. Dean Heller voted with Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee today to rubber stamp a Trump Administration official with no apparent relevant experience in banking regulation or consumer protection.
Kathy Kraninger, Trump’s pick to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is expected to follow in acting director Mick Mulvaney’s footsteps to gut the agency from within and ensure it stops fulfilling its mission of holding big financial institutions and payday lenders accountable on behalf of the American people. In her current role as an Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget, Kraninger oversaw the budgets of agencies involved in the Trump Administration’s negligent disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico and family separation crisis at the border.
But it shouldn’t be any surprise that Dean Heller would vote for an unqualified Trump-backed nominee who wants to sabotage the CFPB without even asking questions: Heller has taken over $150,000 in campaign donations from the predatory lending industry, and the CFPB has even fined some of Heller’s donors millions of dollars for their criminal lending and collection tactics. Heller has previously cosponsored a Republican bill to fully repeal Wall Street reform that would have eliminated the CFPB.
Nevada Democratic State Party spokesperson Sarah Abel released the following statement:
“Dean Heller just voted to put someone in charge of the nation’s top consumer watchdog who has no real experience in consumer protection issues and does not believe in the agency’s mission. By failing to show up to do his job before voting yes, Heller proved yet again that he cares more about siding with his party and protecting the predatory payday lenders who fund his campaigns than standing up for regular hardworking Nevadans. Voters will have a clear choice in this race between a Washington politician who works for Wall Street and a real leader like Jacky Rosen who puts people over profits and fights to protect consumers.”
Dean Heller Voted In Favor Of The Nomination Of Kathy Kraninger To Be Head Of The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On August 23, 2018 Heller voted yes to support the nomination of Kathy Kraninger as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the vote passed 13-12 and was ordered favorably to the full Senate. [Senate Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs Committee, 8/23/18]
A Transcript Of The Senate Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs Nomination Hearing Video Of Kathleen Kraninger To Be Director Of The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau On July 19, 2018 Showed Heller Did Not Ask A Question Or Speak. [CQ, Transcript, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Holds Hearing on Pending Nominations, 7/19/18]
Video Evidence Indicated Heller Had Skipped The Meeting. “THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing on the following nominations: Ms. Kathleen Laura Kraninger, of Ohio, to be Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection; and Ms. Kimberly A. Reed, of West Virginia, to be President of the Export-Import Bank. All hearings are webcast live and will not be available until the hearing starts. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the committee clerk at 202-224-7391 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.” According to a transcript of the hearing, Heller was not in attendance. [CQ, 7/19/18; Senate Banking Committee, Nomination Hearing, 7/19/18]
Los Angeles Times: “But Now For Director Of The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — Arguably The Single-Most-Powerful Financial Regulator In Washington — Trump Has Tapped A Little-Known White House Aide With No Apparent Relevant Experience In Finance, Banking Regulation Or Consumer Protection.” “But now for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — arguably the single-most-powerful financial regulator in Washington — Trump has tapped a little-known White House aide with no apparent relevant experience in finance, banking regulation or consumer protection. The announcement this weekend that Kathy Kraninger, associate director for general government at the Office of Management and Budget, would be Trump’s nominee to head the consumer bureau came as a surprise. And the more people have examined her resume, the greater the surprise. Kraninger’s background largely has been in budget and homeland security in Congress and the executive branch. The nomination has ‘led nearly every lobbying and research office in Washington to search frantically for information on Kraninger’s background, which despite her good credentials as a budget and national security expert is pretty sparse,’ said a report Monday from strategic research firm Capital Alpha Partners. Consumer advocates were not impressed.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/18/18]