WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate approved Democratic Representative Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday, seven months after his nomination.
The Senate approved the nomination by 57 to 41, after Senate Democrats changed the number of votes needed to halt procedural delays against most nominations from 60 to a simple majority.
President Barack Obama nominated Watt, 68, to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in May. But Senate Republicans blocked his nomination in October, saying he is not qualified to head an agency that oversees federally backed home lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Obama and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew both issued a statement welcoming the approval.
"I thank the Senate for confirming his nomination, and I look forward to Mel's work on behalf of the American people," Obama said, lauding him as "the right person to protect Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day" and "the right regulator to make sure the crisis we just went through never happens again."
"Mel knows what it takes to strengthen the economy and middle class, and I look forward to working with him as we continue our efforts to reform the housing finance system, help responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages and boost the recovering housing market," said U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew.
US Senate committee approves Yellen's nomination
BEIJING, Nov. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- The U.S. Senate Banking Committee has approved Janet Yellen’s nomination to lead the Federal Reserve with a 14-8 vote.
Fed Vice-Chair Janet Yellen was nominated by President Barack Obama in October. She is widely expected to succeed Ben Bernanke, whose second four-year term as Fed chairman will end on January 31st.Full Story