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VOL. 128 | NO. 86 | Thursday, May 02, 2013

Congressman, Former Lobbyist Get Housing, FCC Nods

DARLENE SUPERVILLE | Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday tapped a veteran Democratic congressman to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency and a top fundraiser and former lobbyist to head up the Federal Communications Commission.

Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., would oversee federal mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Introducing his nominees at the White House, Obama noted the Charlotte-area congressman's 20 years of service on the House committee that oversees federal housing policy. He said Watt has led efforts to rein in unscrupulous mortgage lenders, protect consumers from the kind of risk-taking that led to the 2008 financial crisis and has fought to increase access to affordable housing.

"Mel understands as well as anybody what caused the housing crisis," Obama said. "He knows what it's going to take to help responsible homeowners fully recover."

Tom Wheeler would become the nation's top telecommunications regulator. He is a former head of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, and the National Cable Television Association, and has been a venture capitalist since 2005. He raised more than $500,000 for Obama's re-election, according to data the campaign provided.

Obama said Wheeler, for more than 30 years, has been at the forefront of dramatic changes in the way people communicate.

"He's like the Jim Brown of telecom, or the Bo Jackson of telecom," Obama joked, comparing Wheeler to the two former professional athletes. "So Tom knows this stuff inside and out."

Senate confirmation is required for both regulatory posts.

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 78 278 3,693
MORTGAGES 113 368 5,162
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 29 106 1,177
BUILDING PERMITS 226 574 9,139
BANKRUPTCIES 59 245 3,587
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 103 1,520
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 330 954 4,869
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 94 1,004

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