The Senate voted 57-41 on Tuesday to confirm Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, where he will oversee government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Watt, who was nominated by President Obama in March, had the support of both senators from North Carolina—Kay Hagan (D) and Richard Burr (R), as well as the support of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). Only two Republicans, including Burr, voted in favor of Watt.
Watt holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a juris doctorate from Yale University Law School.
Before his tenure in public office, Watt practiced law from 1970 to 1992, specializing in minority business and economic development law. He was elected in 1992, and he currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee, the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
“He’s the right person to protect Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day, and he’ll be the right regulator to make sure the kind of crisis we just went through never happens again,” President Obama said.