Senate Won’t Vote On Mel Watt’s Confirmation Until September

The U.S. Senate will not vote on the confirmation of Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) until September.

According to a report in Bloomberg News, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., confirmed on Tuesday that a vote on Watt's nomination will not happen until after the summer recess, which begins Aug. 3.

Reid had previously said he would try to bring Watt's nomination to the Senate floor before the summer break.

Earlier this month, the Senate Banking Committee approved Watt's nomination by a 12-10 vote split along party lines. That narrow approval could foreshadow the vote in the full Senate, where Watt's nomination faces stiff opposition from Republicans, many of whom say he is not qualified to lead the FHFA, the agency which oversees government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Although President Barack Obama could confirm Watt via a so-called recess appointment, most consider that unlikely, particularly considering the administration is facing lawsuits over earlier recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Watt needs support from at least six Republicans to gain the 60 votes needed for the Senate to take up his confirmation.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is the only Republican who has endorsed him so far.


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