Democratic U.S. Rep. Mel Watt is confident he’ll be confirmed to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency now that Senate Democrats changed the chamber’s filibuster rule.
“I would say that certainly substantially improves the chances,” he says.
President Barack Obama nominated Watt last spring to head
the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Last month Senate
Republicans blocked his confirmation.
But Thursday Senate Democrats triggered the so-called nuclear option. They
changed the rules so that most judicial and executive-office appointments can
move to confirmation votes with support from a simple majority of senators, not
the 60-vote super-majority that had been in effect.
The Senate could vote on Watt’s nomination when it returns to session in
Watt continues to be optimistic.
“I’ve known it’s not been about me,” he says. “Every once in a while they'll
make some noises about qualifications. But no one felt they were saying that
with a straight face. This has been about politics, and a lot of it has been
directed at this president.
“I’ve never taken this personally I’ve been patient ... And I'm still