"He’s helped protect consumers from the kind of reckless risk-taking that led to the financial crisis in the first place. And he’s fought to give more Americans in low-income neighborhoods access to affordable housing," Obama said Wednesday at an event announcing Watt’s nomination.
"So Mel understands as well as anybody what caused the housing crisis. He knows what it’s going to take to help responsible homeowners fully recover."
Watt first came to Congress in 1992 and is one of the highest-ranking members of the House Financial Services Committee.
He is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which had pressed Obama to consider black lawmakers in the House for Cabinet positions in his second term. Watt is a former chairman of the CBC.
For more on Obama's nomination, click here.