President Obama Taps Another Charlottean For Federal Agency Head
President Obama for the second time in a row has reached into Charlotte, North Carolina for talent to head a federal agency. North Carolina Democratic Congressman, Mel Watt is the president’s choice to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the government regulator that oversees lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Watt has been in Congress for 20 years and is a longtime member of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees housing issues. According to multiple sources, Watt was tapped to the FHFA's next director because of his experience on the committee as well as his role in brokering the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

The president, in a press conference announcing Watt’s nomination said, "Mel has led efforts to rein in unscrupulous mortgage lenders and he's fought to give more Americans in lower income neighborhoods access to affordable housing. He knows better than anyone else what started the housing crisis and he knows what it's going to take for responsible homeowners to fully recover."

Sen. Kay Hagan also issued a statement of support, saying:

"Congressman Mel Watt is an outstanding choice to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Throughout his career Mel has been a champion for affordable housing in North Carolina and across the country, and has worked tirelessly to protect families from predatory and deceptive lending practices. With experience in the private sector and more than two decades of service on the House Financial Services Committee, Mel has the background, skills, and history of bipartisan cooperation necessary to confront the challenges facing our recovering housing market. I know he will work successfully with Congress to strengthen the backbone of our current housing finance system, and I look forward to his hearing before the Senate Banking Committee and his confirmation before the full Senate."


Watt, a lawyer first elected to the House in 1992, represents a Charlotte district that includes the headquarters of Bank of America Corp. In 2005, he was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, a post he held until 2006. He co-sponsored the 2009 Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which required more disclosures for consumer credit products.
 

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