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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 5, 2019

Senate confirms Calabria to head the FHFA

By Lisa M. Goolik, J.D.

Mark Calabria was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 4, 2019, to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency by a partisan vote of 52-44.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Mark Calabria as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency on April 4, 2019, for a term of five years. Split entirely down party lines, the Senate voted in favor of Calabria 52 to 44, with 4 not voting. Following the vote, FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting congratulated Calabria, expressing his confidence in Calabria’s ability to lead the FHFA, "as he recognizes the need to work toward a housing finance system that protects taxpayers and meets our nation's housing needs." Calabria, who has served as chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, was nominated to head the FHFA by the Trump Administration in December 2018.

Otting was not alone in his support. Republican leaders and industry organizations were also quick to congratulate Calabria. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, stated, "Mark Calabria has a long history as a thoughtful leader in the housing finance reform conversation. This, coupled with his knowledge of our nation’s economic complexities, makes him the right choice to take the lead at the FHFA." McHenry added that Calabria’s confirmation "signals a new-day of action on addressing the federal government’s role in mortgage finance."

Lindsey Johnson, president of U.S. Mortgage Insurers, also applauded Calabria’s confirmation, expressing his belief that Calabria’s "deep understanding of the mortgage finance system" would promote "a more robust housing market that provides borrowers with access to affordable low down payment mortgage credit while simultaneously protecting taxpayers from undue mortgage credit risk."

Robert D. Broeksmit, president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association, released similar a statement in support, adding that Calabria’s "deep policy background and relationships in both the legislative and executive branches" would provide strong leadership at the FHFA.

Companies: Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; Mortgage Bankers Association; U.S. Mortgage Insurers

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