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Tim Kaine and the consumer

By Stephen Pounds · Bankrate.com
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Posted: 6 pm ET
Clinton chooses Kaine as running mate

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's new running mate, has been a city councilman, a mayor, a governor and now a member of Congress over a political career that stretches back more than 20 years. Let's take a look at where he stands on consumer issues.

Kaine was one of a handful of prospects being considered by Clinton, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

On his website, Kaine says he is for raising the minimum wage for Virginians and "providing the opportunity for economic mobility," and he brags about job creation, with Virginia having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country during the Great Recession.

Supports immigration reform

He advocates streamlining regulations to "strike the right balance between protecting consumers and our environment while fostering economic growth," he says.

"We also need to create a fair tax code that closes some of the gaping loopholes that have allowed large corporations to get an unfair advantage over small businesses," Kaine says on his website.

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He supports clean energy, including offshore wind turbines and "new technologies that enabled us to expand natural gas production."

"(But) I respect the role traditional fossil fuel industries play in providing jobs and affordable fuels," he says.

Backs immigration reform

Kaine says he is for immigration reform. "I was proud to join a majority of my Senate colleagues to pass a historic comprehensive immigration reform package in 2013, as well as speak about its importance in Spanish on the Senate floor," he says.

He supports:

  • Creating a better visa system to encourage growth of a talented workforce.
  • Enhanced border security.
  • A path to normalizing the legal status of those in the U.S. unlawfully.
  • Establishing a better system for companies to verify the immigration status of their employees.
  • Advocate of free trade

    Kaine has been an outspoken advocate of free trade, supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, according to The New York Times. He also voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation deal to ease trade barriers between the U.S. and Pacific nations. Clinton opposes the TPP.

    The Virginia senator also has been criticized for his support of looser banking regulations.

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    Called for looser banking regs

    He was one of 70 senators who signed a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pointing out that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law explicitly grants authority to the bureau to tailor regulations to "exempt any class of entity" from its regulatory requirements.

    "We believe the CFPB has robust tailoring authority and ask that you act accordingly to prevent any unintended consequences that negatively impact community banks and credit unions or unnecessarily limit their ability to serve consumers," the letter says.

    After fallout from the letter, the senator responded by saying he supports Dodd-Frank. "The toughest regulation should be on the biggest and riskiest institutions," Kaine's spokeswoman said in a statement.

    He signed another letter that called for changes to rules for larger regional banks to set capital cushions to protect themselves from failure, according to Politico.

    He asked for changes for "regional banks that do not share the same risk profile or complexity as their larger, systemically important brethren."

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