WASHINGTON, March 15 The White House is
considering naming Representative Mel Watt to head the Federal
Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac, the Wall Street Journal reported late on
A decision could come as soon as April, WSJ said on its
website, citing a person familiar with the matter.
If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Watt would bring
his experience as a long-time member of the House Financial
Services Committee to the agency that oversees the two
companies, which own or guarantee half of all U.S. mortgages.
Fannie and Freddie were seized by the government and placed
into a conservatorship in 2008 after mortgage losses threatened
Current acting director Edward DeMarco has served in the
post since 2009.
DeMarco has been criticized for his refusal to permit the
mortgage finance companies to write down loan principal for
troubled borrowers, a decision he argues he took to protect
Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, has pushed for better
access to mortgage loans for minority and low-income consumers,
President Barack Obama previously tried to name a permanent
director, but Republicans blocked his nominee.
A representative for Watt said he had no comment at this
time. The White House did not immediately respond to a request