Dec 14 2010

Shelby: We Need a Watchdog, Not a Lapdog

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today during a committee markup voted against President Obama’s nomination of Mr. Joseph Smith to serve as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  After the committee’s vote, Shelby released the following statement expressing his strong opposition to the nomination:

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have already cost taxpayers $150 billion.  Absent a strong regulator, future losses could be even greater.  The first confirmed Director of the FHFA must be a knowledgeable, effective, and independent regulator whose primary focus must be on protecting the American taxpayer.  In my judgment, Mr. Smith is not the best candidate for this job.  With all due respect to his background, Mr. Smith has no experience running or regulating institutions this massive and complex.  By his own admission, he believes there is a great deal he has yet to learn.  This is not a position that lends itself to on-the-job training.  The first confirmed Director must hit the ground running equipped with the skills and experience needed to be a strong regulator free from influence by the current Administration.  In other words, we need a watchdog not a lapdog.”