White House targeting DeMarco's job

Meanwhile, his decisions have drawn praise from congressional Republicans for resisting pressure from the Obama administration to allow mortgage principal reductions for government-backed loans. 

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In July, he took heat from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner after releasing a report concluding that the benefits of a mortgage-principal reduction program were too small and the costs and risks too high to move forward. 

Geithner rebuked the analysis arguing that the decision would hurt the housing market and broader economy by failing to help at least 500,000 homeowners. 

DeMarco's supporters have said that offering the reductions would start a slew of intentional defaults by homeowners who want to have their mortgage debts forgiven.

Some Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have accused DeMarco of withholding documents that would provide run contrary to his opposition to the loan reductions. 

Despite the complexities of replacing DeMarco, including finding a qualified replacement to take over the ever-demanding job of overseeing about $5 trillion in mortgage assets, the administration now seems determined to forge ahead. 

Several senior administration officials, including Gene Sperling, head of the National Economic Council, and Jon Carson, director of the White House’s office of public engagement, have been putting out the word that DeMarco could be replaced through a recess appointment while asking the housing industry for possible successors. 

A recess appointment is a complicated prospect, with Republican lawmakers unified over giving the White House any opening to make changes while Congress is out of session. 

DeMarco has overseen Fannie and Freddie since August 2009, about a year after the government took control of the housing entities that have soaked up about $187 billion in taxpayer funding to keep up and running.