WASHINGTON -- North Carolina Banking Commissioner Joseph Smith faced tough questions Thursday but no outright opposition as Senate lawmakers evaluated his nomination to lead the federal agency that oversees government sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC). The Obama administration has nominated Smith to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The housing agency, which was created more than two years ago, has been without a permanent director since August 2009. Smith's nomination appears poised to clear the Senate Banking Committee later this month, but still needs a vote of the full Senate.