Club for Growth urges 'no' vote on Watt nomination

The conservative Club for Growth reiterated its opposition to Rep. Mel Watt's nomination to become the nation's top housing regulator. 

The group said Tuesday that it is key voting any action taken on the North Carolina Democrat's nomination with a cloture vote expected this week in the Senate. 

Watt has been tapped by President Obama to head up the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has faced an uphill battle since he was nominated.

A majority of Republicans and the Club for Growth have opposed Watt's nomination because they argue that because of the breadth of the job it is inappropriate for a politician to run FHFA.

"The director of the FHFA has immense power over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," said Andy Roth, vice president of government affairs for the Club for Growth. 

"As the lead regulator of these two entities, and their trillion-dollar assets, the FHFA director must be a strong advocate for taxpayers who are at risk for the GSE's business activities," he said.

"So it is entirely inappropriate for a politician to fill this role who has explicitly advocated for greater involvement by the federal government in the mortgage industry."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on Watt's nomination on Monday. 

But Watt is not expected to garner enough support to scale the procedural hurdle. 

Tuesday's email from Club for Growth was the same sent on July 19, the day after Watt was approved by the Senate Banking Committee. 

The group argues that Watt is on record "supporting principal reduction programs, generous refinance programs, higher loan limits for Fannie and Freddie, and allowing Fannie and Freddie to continue to borrow from the Treasury," the letter says. 

"All of these policies, plus others not mentioned, put taxpayers more at risk for another financial crisis and a subsequent bailout."