We Said "Fire DeMarco." And Obama Heard Us.
By Bill Scher
October 25, 2012 - 2:30pm ET
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Earlier this year, the Campaign for America's Future and other organizations urged the President to get rid the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Ed DeMarco. A Bush administration holdover, he has been single-handedly blocking White House proposals to use mortgage principle reduction of bring relief to struggling homeowner with loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
According to the Financial Times, the President has heard the call:
... if Mr Obama wins re-election, Mr DeMarco’s days may be numbered, with senior White House officials quietly telling housing industry activists in recent weeks that he will be replaced.
Administration officials have argued there are few qualified candidates willing to take the demanding position. Some borrower advocates have argued that the White House has kept Mr DeMarco in office in part because it provides the administration with an easy excuse when questioned about why they have not done more to prevent millions of home seizures.
But in the past few weeks, Obama administration officials – including Gene Sperling, director of Mr Obama’s national economic council, and Jon Carson, director of the White House’s office of public engagement – have told Democratic groups that they hope to oust Mr DeMarco in the coming months, most likely by replacing him via an appointment while Congress is not in session, according to people familiar with the matter.
Administration officials have asked housing groups to supply a list of potential candidates. Officials made their statements most recently on September 13 during a White House housing summit.
This is not only another example of the Obama White House responding to the grassroots, but also another example of continued experimentation -- in the spirit of FDR -- to battle deep-seated economic problems.
The after effects of the housing crisis has been holding back the recovery throughout the last three years. And the obstructionist Congress has limited how bold the President could be in response. But even if some legitimately argue there is more the President could have done unilaterally, there still has been literally 10 different programs and initiatives rolled out over the course of the administration.
There may be differences of opinion on the courses of action the President took, but it's not fair to argue he was not diligently trying to solve the problem. (Putting aside the moral imperative, there is no remotely logical political reason for a president, who already has staked his reputation of the effectiveness of government action to improve the economy, to deliberately employ ineffective government programs.)
And now the housing market is slowly on the mend. The Hill reports: "prices are rising in most areas, consumer confidence is improving, builder confidence hit a six-year high this week, housing construction is moving along at its fastest pace in four years, mortgage rates are hovering near historic lows and retail sales showed an improvement."
Of course, there is still more to do. The President clearly understands that, and as he has repeatedly showed, he does not give up.
And that's why DeMarco's days are numbered.
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