Waters Calls on Senate to Confirm Mel Watt as Director of FHFA
At a press conference calling on the U.S. Senate to confirm Melvin L. Watt as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Congresswoman Maxine Waters¸ Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, offered the following statement in strong support.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate is moving forward with the nomination of Representative Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. I have worked very closely with Representative Watt on the Financial Services Committee for almost 20 years. As a lawyer dealing largely in real estate for 22 years, Mel is highly respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He is known as a legislator focused on openness, collaboration and good public policy. And he knows how to get things done.
As overseer of the nation’s secondary mortgage markets, the FHFA plays a critical role in our economic and housing recovery. I believe Mel Watt has the vision and experience necessary to lay the groundwork for its long-term stability. This is particularly needed as Congress begins to consider reforming a $10 trillion secondary mortgage market.
We need a leader like Mel – thoughtful, well-informed, principled and fair – to address the most important challenges that we face as a nation. His legislative work demonstrates unwavering commitment to protecting consumers, expanding affordable rental housing, and providing prudent oversight of financial institutions.
For example, long before many realized that predatory lending was a problem, Representative Watt introduced legislation to restrict unfair lending practices that led so many to take out loans they could not afford. Later, Representative Watt then served as a valuable member of the Dodd-Frank Conference Committee, where he worked to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of the legislation.
The FHFA requires a leader who deeply understands the complex issues surrounding housing and housing finance, which Representative Watt has proven throughout his career. But the job also requires someone of Representative Watt’s temperament – thoughtful, fair-minded, balanced and collaborative. I believe that while the worst of the crisis is over, we still have many challenges to overcome.
Mel Watt will help us confront these in a manner that is beneficial to the economy and the American people. It is virtually unprecedented for a sitting Member of Congress to be rejected by the U.S. Senate. I urge his immediate confirmation.”