In a straight party-line vote, Mark Calabria, the President’s nominee for FHFA Director, is now on his way for a full Senate vote.
The committee vote was 13 to 12. While surprised that a few moderate dems opposed, we realize that there was little upside to any Democrat supporting Calabria in committee.
Clearly his responses under testimony to previous public comments made during his prior professional roles at the conservative CATO institute and elsewhere were not enough to calm nervous Democrats who banded together in opposition. Doing so puts them in a better position to object to any moves that might scale back the GSEs’ role in support for affordable housing, the affordable housing trust fund, and multi-family.
More importantly – should Mark take action that might destabilize the nature of the Federal guaranty that exists under conservatorship, it would be expected for Democrats to sharply argue against such action. Mark attempted to assure the committee during testimony that he would work with congress and not move administratively – something stakeholders will be observing closely.
This committee move was considered to be fairly quick work in an administration that has been plagued with slow confirmations. Michael Bright, Trump’s nominee for GNMA President, resigned recently despite having gone through most of the confirmation process, but ending short of full Senate approval.
In the case of Calabria it is expected that he will be prioritized for a full senate vote in the weeks ahead.
With Mark on the verge of taking a seat at FHFA, we expect to see some fairly quick shake ups in senior leadership roles. We will be particularly interested in seeing who he brings in as his senior advisory team.
By David Stevens, Senior Advisor at Mortgage Media
David H. Stevens, CMB, is Senior Advisor at Mortgage Media, and former SVP of Single Family at Freddie Mac, former EVP at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, former President and COO of the Long and Foster Realty Companies, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and FHA Commissioner, former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association