Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rep. Mel Watt nominated for top FHFA post

by Ethan Handelman, National Housing Conference

Yesterday, President Obama nominated Representative Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the agency which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. The current FHFA Acting Director, Ed DeMarco, has served in an acting capacity since 2009.

President Obama congratulates Rep. Watt
at the nomination announcement.

Representative Watt, a Democrat, currently represents North Carolina’s 12th district. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee, including the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, which has responsibility for much housing policy.

The post of FHFA Director requires Senate confirmation, and it is unclear whether Rep. Watt will clear that hurdle. At a recent Senate hearing on mortgage finance reform, Sen. Corker expressed disapproval of a possible nomination of Rep. Watt in reaction to circulating rumors. Statements in favor of confirmation are already appearing, and the President endorsed Rep. Watt strongly at the nomination announcement.

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