“NO” on the nomination of Mel Watt for Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC) to serve as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Watt has long been a proponent of increased government intervention in housing. Heritage notes, “Watt has a 20-year record of supporting big government housing policies (ranging from home foreclosure assistance programs to down payment requirements on federally insured home mortgages).”
He has been a consistent supporter of the failed government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite the role they played in the housing collapse in 2007 and 2008. He has voted for legislation that would give Fannie and Freddie the ability to cover an increasingly large portion of the housing market, which would expose taxpayers and financial markets to greater risk. He has repeatedly voted against legislative efforts that would reduce or end the federal mortgage bailouts.
Watt also played an important role in shaping the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulation act, which created policies that hinder low-income and middle-income individuals’ ability to become homeowners, though that is one of Watt’s purported goals. During his time in Congress, he promoted the “kinds of activities that precipitated and prolonged the housing crisis.”
Most importantly, Watt’s past positions suggest he’ll be very aggressive in implementing many of the bad policies currently being blocked by the agency’s acting director, Edward J. DeMarco.
Heritage Action opposes the nomination of Mel Watt and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.