WASHINGTON Oct 24 U.S. housing regulator Edward
DeMarco is likely to lose his job overseeing
government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac if President Barack Obama wins
re-election, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
Many liberal advocacy groups and Democrats on Capitol Hill
have pressed Obama to replace DeMarco, the acting director of
the Federal Housing Finance Agency who has denied requests from
the White house to implement a housing rescue program that
reduces mortgage principal for troubled homeowners.
The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter,
said that due to DeMarco's unwillingness to be as aggressive as
the White House would like on certain policies and past clashes
over the execution of anti-foreclosure efforts, the
administration hopes to oust him in the coming months.
The story said Obama administration officials -- including
Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic council, and
Jon Carson, director of the White House's office of public
engagement -- have told Democratic groups the president would
likely use a "recess appointment" to name a replacement for
A recess appointment would allow Obama to replace DeMarco
without the need to win Senate backing for his successor.
The report did not name any possible replacements.
The Obama administration attempted to replace DeMarco in
2010, when Obama nominated Joseph Smith, who was then North
Carolina's banking commissioner. Smith withdrew his name after a
few months due to staunch Republican opposition.
Obama has defied Republicans with recess appointments in the
past, most recently when he installed Richard Cordray as head of
the country's consumer financial watchdog. That move incensed
Republicans, who have vowed to block Obama's picks for other
high-profile financial regulatory posts.
DeMarco became acting head of the FHFA in 2009. He has
worked at the agency and its predecessor since 2006.
As head of the FHFA, DeMarco oversees operations at Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac, which have drawn more than $190 billion
from the U.S. Treasury to stay afloat since they nearly became
insolvent during the financial crisis.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mace buy mortgages from lenders and
package them into securities, providing a guarantee to make
investors whole if the underlying loans default.