Obama Nominates Tom Wheeler To FCC, Rep. Mel Watt To Federal Housing Finance

 @LauraMatt
on May 01 2013 3:11 PM
  • US Capitol Rotunda
    U.S. Capitol rotunda Reuters
  • Obama
    President Barack Obama, pictured, wants quick confirmation of Tom Wheeler and Rep. U.S. Mel Watt so they can start working right away. Reuters/Larry Downing
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President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced two nominees -- one to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, and the other to head the Federal Communications Commission.

With confirmation from the U.S. Senate, Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., will be the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In his new role, Watt will oversee mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama, who made the personal announcement at the White House, said Watt knows what it takes to help homeowners recover from the housing crisis, because he knows what caused it.

As expected, shortly thereafter, the president nominated Tom Wheeler to be the FCC chair.

Obama called Wheeler, a former lobbyist turned venture capitalist, the Jim Brown and Bo Jackson of telecom for his work in both the cable and wireless industries.

“Tom knows this stuff inside and out,” Obama said, adding that outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski “has benefited frequently from Tom’s advice.”

The president thanked the Senate ahead of time for what he hopes will be a speedy confirmation so that both men can get to work.

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