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The Voice of the Black Community

Editorials

I support Watt for Federal Housing Finance Agency post
Senate should give nominee up-or-down vote
 
Published Wednesday, November 6, 2013 1:12 am
by U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan

For over 20 years Congressman Mel Watt has been a true champion for middle class families. When President Obama nominated him to be the first confirmed Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, I was encouraged that middle class families across the country would have a proven advocate leading FHFA.

I was deeply disappointed last week when Senate Republicans blocked Congressman Watt’s nomination to serve as director of the FHFA. I was proud to join my North Carolina colleague, Senator Richard Burr, in introducing Congressman Watt at his confirmation hearing earlier this year, and I was pleased that the Senate Banking Committee approved his nomination.

The bipartisan support for Congressman Watt from the North Carolina delegation is a testament to Congressman Watt’s ability to work across the aisle and shows that Congressman Watt deserves and up or down vote.

Congressman Watt’s background, skills and track record of bipartisanship make him an immensely qualified nominee who, if confirmed, would confront the challenges that face our recovering housing market and strengthen the backbone of our current housing finance system.

As a member of the House Financial Services and Judiciary Committees, Congressman Watt has been a steadfast advocate for affordable housing in North Carolina and across the country. He has worked tirelessly to protect families from predatory and deceptive lending practices and was instrumental in enacting the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Congressman Watt’s nomination is supported by over 50 community and advocacy organizations, by industry groups such as National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders, and by respected business leaders like former Bank of America Chairman and CEO Hugh McColl.

Congressman Watt’s strong record of working with industry leaders, consumer advocates, Democrats and Republicans proves that he can deliver results for middle class families in North Carolina and across the country.

We need Congressman Watt at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. I know he will work successfully with Congress to strengthen the backbone our housing system. He deserves an up or down vote, and I will continue to advocate for his confirmation to this critical post.

Kay Hagan represents North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

 

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