Slideshow: The Senate’s Broken Confirmation Process

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Joseph A. Smith, Jr. is sworn in on Capitol Hill, Dec. 9, 2010, prior to testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Federal Finance Housing Agency

Edward DeMarco, the embattled director of the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was appointed by President Bush as an acting, or interim, director, in 2008. Shortly after the midterm election, President Obama nominated Joseph A. Smith Jr., who at the time was North Carolina’s banking commissioner, to replace DeMarco. Senate Republicans objected to the nomination and, after determining that there was no path to approval for Smith, the White House withdrew his nomination.

Since 2010, many progressives have called on President Obama to fire DeMarco. They say he has slowed the economic recovery because of his refusal to offer loan forgiveness to mortgage holders who found themselves underwater in the wake of the financial crisis. According to The Wall Street Journal, the White House is preparing to nominate a new director sometime early this year. The agency, created four-and-a-half years ago, has never had its own director confirmed by the Senate.

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