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Pressure Mounts for President Obama to Fire Ed DeMarco

by Reno Manuele

ed-demarco-fired-president-obama-fhfa-fannie-freddie-principal-reduction-underwater-homeowners

House Democrats have renewed their calls for President Obama to fire Ed DeMarco, the FHFA’s acting director.

Well, it was bound to happen sooner rather than later.

House Democrats have renewed their calls for President Obama to fire Ed DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) who has single-handedly stalled the government’s efforts to offer principal reduction policies to the nation’s homeowners.

 

 

FHFA’s Ed DeMarco – A Marked Man

A quick refresher: as the FHFA’s acting director, Ed DeMarco wields an incredible amount of power over the U.S. housing market as the chief regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two institutions that, along with the FHA, have guaranteed roughly 9 out of 10 new residential mortgages since 2008.

Yet, DeMarco’s name has been a constant fixture in housing headlines for his resistance to the White House’s plans to offer principal reductions to the nation’s underwater homeowners, which number in the millions; and as a result, DeMarco has inspired considerable ire among lawmakers.

And now, 45 Democrats in the House of Representatives are renewing their calls for the president to sack DeMarco, and replace him with someone more sympathetic to the administration’s policies.

“We believe your re-election is a prime opportunity to put forth a new candidate who is ready and willing to implement all of Congress’ directives to meet the critical challenges still facing our nation’s housing-finance markets,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter calling for DeMarco’s dismissal.

An Uncertain Future for Principal Reductions

News had trickled out in December that the White House was gauging replacements for DeMarco, but so far, there’s been not a peep from any official channels, with the administration focusing more on higher profile appointments to the State Department and the CIA.

And plus, as the Wall Street Journal notes, Joseph Smith, Obama’s original choice to head the FHFA, withdrew his name from consideration after more than two years of Republican opposition to his nomination – a fate that could fall upon anyone chosen to replace DeMarco, should he be fired.

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