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Senate Republicans Block Obama’s Nomination of Watt for FHFA

U.S. Senate Republicans today dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s efforts to install his own nominee as regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blocking an effort to confirm Representative Mel Watt to the post.

Republicans cited misgivings about the qualifications of Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. All but two of them voted against moving his nomination to a final debate, leaving Democrats short of the 60 votes they needed.