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Senate Confirms Mel Watt to Be New Fannie/Freddie Regulator

DEC 10, 2013 6:45pm ET
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The Senate voted 57-41 late Tuesday to confirm Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The vote followed a Democratic change to filibuster rules that allowed Watt to pass a key procedural vote without attaining support from 60 lawmakers. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 57-40 to stop debate on Watt’s nomination.

Watt will soon take over as regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, succeeding current acting FHFA director Edward DeMarco.

"It has been over five years since the FHFA's inception and this is the first time we will have a confirmed director. Congressman Watt's confirmation will provide the housing market more certainty as our economy continues to recover from the financial crisis,” Senate Banking Committee chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said in a statement.

House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, D-Texas, also congratulated Watt on his confirmation.

“As a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, he has been thoughtful and well-respected during his tenure. My soon-to-be former colleague has big shoes to fill in replacing Acting Director DeMarco and I hope and challenge him to carry on Mr. DeMarco’s policies,” Hensarling said.

DeMarco proved to be a controversial figure with many Democrats, including President Obama, criticizing him for not allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce principal amounts for struggling borrowers. Republicans, however, had defended DeMarco, arguing he was correctly using his position to protect taxpayer money following the government’s seizure of Fannie and Freddie in 2008.

Comments (2)
It was about time the Dems started acting like they have a majority in the Senate and the Presidency. As Sen. McCain helpfully pointed out back in 2005, elections have consequences. This is one of them. Don't like the results? Quit pandering to the Tea Party and start winning some elections.
Posted by Boris Badinoff | Tuesday, December 10 2013 at 11:17PM ET
Hey there Andras. I bet you will be the first one complaining in January 2015 after the Republicans have taken control of both the House & Senate, and start reversing some of Harry Reid's positions taken over the past 8-years. Be careful what you comment on, things always change!
Posted by Matt C | Wednesday, December 11 2013 at 3:27PM ET
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