Congressman Mel Watt, D-N.C, is President Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Rep. Elijah Cummings released a statement Wednesday, applauding reports that the President will nominate Rep. Watt to lead the FHFA, a position that has made financial headlines for the past four years with Acting Director Ed DeMarco in place.

Cummings released his statement after numerous sources pegged Watt as the president's pick to eventually lead the agency.

Congressman Watt's office declined to comment, and the FHFA could not be immediately reached for a statement.

So who is Rep. Mel Watt?

The Democrat is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, where he serves on the subcommittee on capital markets and government-sponsored enterprises. He also serves on the subcommittee of financial institutions and consumer credit.

As far as housing policy goes, past HousingWire articles peg Watt as a a supporter of principal reductions—a contentious topic during DeMarco’s time as FHFA lead.

DeMarco has long defended the practice of not allowing principal reductions to protect taxpayers and remain compliant with the FHFA's mandate to keep costs under control at the GSEs.

Bloomberg reporters Cheyenne Hopkins and Clea Benson broke the news early this morning.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com