October 31, 2013

Senator Warren Urges Swift Confirmation of Congressman Mel Watt as Federal Housing Finance Agency Director

Video of the Senator’s Remarks


Washington, DC – In remarks on the floor of the United States Senate today, Senator Elizabeth Warren urged her colleagues to confirm Congressman Mel Watt’s nomination to be the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Senator Warren called for an end to “obstruction for obstruction’s sake,” and stressed the importance of a confirmed Director and strong FHFA to bolster the recovery of the housing market and provide certainty to the agency, which has been led by an Acting Director for four years.


“One of the people who could make an important difference in helping the housing market back to full health is the Director of the FHFA,” said Senator Warren. “The FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Between them, Fannie and Freddie back the vast majority of mortgages in the country, which means right now the FHFA has enormous influence over the American housing market.  The FHFA has the tools to help homeowners who continue to struggle following the 2008 financial crisis, and it has the tools to help accelerate our economic recovery.”


“Congressman Watt has worked hard to level the playing field for consumers, but he is no ideologue,” she continued. “I’ve worked with him for many years now and I have seen first-hand that he is a thoughtful policymaker. He can see problems coming, and when he does, he seeks common ground and works hard to develop real solutions. As Congress looks at ways to fix Fannie and Freddie and steady the housing market, Congressman Watt’s practical approach is exactly what the FHFA needs.”


The senator condemned obstructionists who are trying to stop a simple up or down vote in the Senate on Congressman Watt’s nomination. “Why wouldn’t they want strong leadership in an agency that has been thrust into such a critical role in the economy?  It just doesn’t make sense – not to the people who know Mel and not to the people who want to put this economy back on track,” said Senator Warren.