Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Senate GOP Blocks Housing Finance Nominee

Nominated to oversee lending agencies

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Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C. to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency to oversee mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a critical time for the industry.

Democrats fell three votes shy of the 60 required to advance his nomination.

President Obama nominated the North Carolina Democrat in May to replace acting FHFA director Edward DeMarco. Thursday's filibuster marked the first time since the Civil War that a sitting member of Congress was denied a presidential nomination by the Senate.