Trump announces housing-finance, market watchdog nominees

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate two key financial regulators to posts overseeing the federal housing finance system and U.S. derivatives markets, respectively.

The White House said Trump plans to nominate Mark Calabria, the chief economist for Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDozens of graduates walk out in protest of Pence address Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Congress has a duty to go through with the impeachment and public trial of President Trump MORE, to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Treasury Department assistant secretary Heath Tarbert to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Both nominees would play critical roles in the Trump administration’s efforts to overhaul the post-financial crisis regulatory regime and broaden its impact on the agencies enforcing those laws.

If confirmed, Calabria would lead the department overseeing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the troubled federal housing finance system. He was involved with the drafting of the bill that created the department and has been a vocal critic of the federal government’s possession of Fannie and Freddie, which issue securities based on  government-backed mortgages.

Calabria would replace FHFA Director Mel WattMelvin (Mel) Luther WattFannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform should put American taxpayers first Watchdog: Former Rep. Mel Watt attempted to 'coerce' employee into relationship Budding housing crisis must be nipped now MORE, a former Democratic congressman whose four-year term ends in January. Watt has been accused by a senior aide of repeated sexual harassment, and the case is currently being investigated by federal inspectors.

Calabria was the director of financial regulatory studies at the libertarian Cato Institute before joining Pence’s team in 2017. He served also stints as a Senate Banking Committee senior aide, deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President George W. Bush.

Tarbert would chair the CFTC, a five-member commission that regulates and police the U.S. market for derivative investments, including futures contracts and swaps. The commission is currently chaired by J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican appointed by former President Obama.

Tarbert, a former partner at law firm firm Allen & Overy LLP and legal advisor at several public and private institutions, would be Trump’s fifth addition to the CFTC.