Washington, D.C. -- A White House official says President Barack Obama intends to nominate Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt of North Carolina to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the government regulator that oversees lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
If confirmed by the Senate, Watt would replace Edward DeMarco, an appointee of President George W. Bush who has been a target of housing advocates, liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers.
The president was expected to announce the nomination Wednesday.
Watt's nomination comes at a crucial time for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government sponsored mortgage-finance enterprises that the government rescued at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 as they teetered neared collapse from losses on soured mortgage loans.
The White House official spoke only on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.
After the news was release of Watt's possible new post, he received kudos from other lawmakers and the NC Democratic Party.
From NC Democratic Party: "Charlotte has a lot to be proud of this week," Voller mused, "Rep. Watt understands the need for hardworking Americans to have protection when they purchase a home. Affordable housing and consumer protection have been at the forefront of Rep. Watt's distinguished congressional career. We thank Rep. Watt for his service on behalf North Carolina's 12th district and call for his quick confirmation so he can get to work on behalf of the middle class. An unnecessarily lengthy confirmation process will only serve to stall the American dream of homeownership. Our communities cannot afford politics to trump jobs."
U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) issued the following statement congratulating Representative Mel Watt (D-NC) on his nomination to serve as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency: "Having served with Mel, I know of his commitment to sustainable federal housing programs and am confident he will work hard to protect taxpayers from future exposure to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I look forward to working with Rep. Watt in his new role to find new ways to facilitate more private sector involvement in the housing and mortgage markets."
Associated Press/ Photo Courtesy: watt.house.gov