‘No’ vote urged on Rep. Mel Watt to oversee Fannie, Freddie


McClatchy Washington Bureau

The Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group, is urging senators to oppose Rep. Mel Watt’s nomination to director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Watt, D-N.C., who was recommended in a 12-10 vote Thursday before the Senate banking committee, faces strong opposition from Republican lawmakers who both support current FHFA director Ed DeMarco and who say Watt doesn’t have appropriate experience to head an organization that is directly in charge of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Club for Growth argued that it is inappropriate for a politician advocating for more federal involvement to be head of this agency and said the goal of the director must be to privatize Fannie and Freddie and shut down the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

"The director of the FHFA has immense power over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the lead regulator of these two entities, and their trillion-dollar assets, the FHFA director must be a strong advocate for taxpayers who are at risk for the(government-sponsored enterprise)’s business activities. So it is entirely inappropriate for a politician to fill this role who has explicitly advocated for greater involvement by the federal government in the mortgage industry," Club for Growth said in a statement.

The organization says it will include the Watt vote on its congressional scorecard, which tracks voting records in Congress to share with supporters.

In Watt’s confirmation hearing in June, he was informed Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., that his goal as head of the FHFA would essentially be to eliminate the agency he would be in charge of and to privatize Fannie and Freddie.

"I’d be delighted to make that happen,” Watt said at the time. “Putting me out of a job would mean we’ve gotten through this transition.”

Email: kthibodeaux@mcclatchydc.com

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category