WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Senate invoked cloture on the nomination of Mel Watt, ensuring a final vote on his nomination to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA):
“Subprime loans and the resulting foreclosure crisis caused a financial meltdown five years ago. Nothing could be a starker reminder of housing’s central importance to our economy and our middle class. Our recovery will not be complete until we can put in place policies that both help current struggling homeowners and ensure that future middle class homeowners have access to affordable, stable home loans. Confirming Mel Watt is key to that effort. I am pleased that the Senate has ended the nomination paralysis that has blocked highly qualified individuals, like Congressman Watt, who are essential to rebuilding the middle class.”
The FHFA plays a critical role in ensuring access to affordable home loans for middle class families, but has been stymied by not having a confirmed director who was willing to put in place aggressive policies to help middle class homeowners. Senator Merkley led the fight to fix the broken Senate and ensure nominees like Watt received final up-or-down votes so they could get to work rebuilding the middle class.