Quick OK pushed for mortgage boss
WASHINGTON — Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., will receive a major test this week in his potential confirmation to lead the agency that oversees the quasi-government titans of mortgage finance, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Calling it a top White House priority, chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior administration officials met with housing and financial industry leaders on Monday to ask for their assistance in pressing the Senate to quickly confirm the Charlotte congressman.
Watt was a controversial pick for the job. It's been almost six months since his nomination with little progress on confirmation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on Fox News that he plans to hold up all Senate appointments until the administration answers more questions about the Benghazi attack in September 2012.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed a cloture motion to try to force a vote on Watt's nomination. Watt will receive a procedural test that requires 60 votes to proceed to a final vote.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., pledged his support for Watt after Reid filed for cloture.
But many Republicans oppose the nomination of the career politician.
Watt is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, but he has never worked in banking or finance.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.