February 26, 2019 / 3:27 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. Senate committee votes to advance Trump's pick to head housing agency

(Adds context, other regulator’s advanced)

By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Banking Committee voted on Tuesday to advance President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite Democratic opposition.

Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, was advanced by the panel on a party-line vote of 13-12. If confirmed, he would replace acting director Joseph Otting, who currently serves as the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency.

The Trump administration tapped Calabria after it said it intends to overhaul the nation’s housing finance system, which would see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac privatized after years of government control.

Last month, the White House said it expects Congress to contribute to an overhaul plan that “fully addresses the risks to taxpayers presented by the current housing finance system and that improves the ability of creditworthy Americans to buy a home.”

Calabria’s nomination now advances to the full Senate, which has yet to schedule a final confirmation vote.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate advanced Dino Falaschetti to be the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Director in the Office of Financial Research. (Reporting by Katanga Johnson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas)

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