U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Administration's nomination of Representative Mel Watt to be the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA):
"We must end the five-year conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and resolve the threat to taxpayers and our housing market created by these government-sponsored entities. The Administration must provide a long-term plan on how to end the conservatorships and responsibly transition to a more stable housing finance system.
"In the lead-up to the housing crisis, we saw Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac become highly politicized and the underwriting standards weakened. Any nominee to this important position must be politically independent and have the necessary policy and technical expertise to be the conservator of two highly complex, multi-trillion dollar housing companies. We cannot return to the failed housing policies that so badly hurt our economy and homeowners across the country.
"I am very concerned about this nomination. By making a political appointment, the President is ignoring the importance that the head of the FHFA must be independent. The Director must be prepared to continue the progress we have made to date correcting the past mistakes that have led us into the housing crisis, protecting the taxpayers from further bailouts and protecting homeowners from the damaging impacts of returning to these failed policies.
"As the nominee, Congressman Mel Watt has the task of demonstrating that he possesses the necessary political independence, expertise and commitment to structural change required to achieve the necessary reforms at this critical juncture."