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Toomey Vocal in Blocking Rep. Mel Watt from FHFA Director

Senator Pat Toomey
Senator Pat Toomey

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), along with Senate Republicans, voted against the confirmation of Obama’s pick for Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) Director.

On Thursday, Toomey voted against ending debate and taking a vote on the President’s nominee, Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina). All but two Senate Republicans voted against the confirmation, leaving Watt just three votes shy of an official confirmation vote.

After the debate ended, Toomey explained his vote.

“I think this is the wrong job for this good man,” Toomey said. “There is no parallel in our country for an institution where so much power is concentrated in one person.”

Democrats were outraged that Republicans chose to filibuster instead of accepting the vote. They said Rep. Watt is the first sitting lawmaker to be denied an appointment by means of filibuster in over 150 years. The claim is plausible but not certain.

As the Washington Post reported, it seems likely that blocking the Obama’s nomination is as much about creating political bargaining chips as it is about Watt’s qualifications. There has also been speculation that Republicans will attempt to block Janet Yellen from becoming Federal Reserve Chair.

Senate Democrats are considering the use of a rules change that will allow them to close debate and confirm appointments with a simple majority, rather than the current 60 vote requirement. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) later changed his vote to ‘no’ so the nomination could be brought to the floor again.

Toomey has a minor history of contentious exchanges with Watt. In June, he challenged Watt with a hard line of questioning during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Watch that video here.


3 Responses

  1. Toomey is one of the most level headed people currently in the House and Senate.
    Watt has too many negatives with his involvement with Fannie and Freddie and with Bank of America, which ironically was sued by FHFA. He is not a fit for this job.

  2. For Pat Toomey, anyone nominated by Barack Obama is going to just be completely unacceptable.

    First time since before the Civil War a sitting member of Congress was filibustered for an executive appointment?

  3. Toomey is an a$$hat. I hope people are understanding he is an extreme right wing politician. We will be better served here in PA when he is gone.

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