A White House official says President Barack Obama intends to nominate Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt of North Carolina to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the government regulator that oversees lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
If confirmed by the Senate, Watt would replace Edward DeMarco, an appointee of President George W. Bush who has been a target of housing advocates, liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers.
The president was expected to announce the nomination Wednesday.
Watt's nomination comes at a crucial time for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government sponsored mortgage-finance enterprises that the government rescued at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 as they teetered neared collapse from losses on soured mortgage loans.
The White House official spoke only on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.
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