Rep. Mel Watt confirmed to head FHFA


Mel-Watt312x315By a vote of 57-41 12/10, senators confirmed the Democrat from North Carolina to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Watt structured the Free Market Royalty Act, which would have created a performance right forcing radio stations to pay performers for playing their music.

The response, of course, was The Local Radio Freedom Act, which aims to head off any attempt to impose any royalty for over-air performance of songs on AM and FM radio.

“He’s the right person to protect Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day, and he’ll be the right regulator to make sure the kind of crisis we just went through never happens again,” President Obama said in a statement.

Watt will succeed Edward DeMarco, who has been acting head of the FHFA since 2009.

RBR-TVBR observation: The good news is Watt, the author of the latest bill that deals with radio and royalties, is moving on to new responsibilities. Watt’s bill was facing a steep uphill climb anyway, at least if he wanted action before the year is over. According to bill rating organization, there was, as of a few weeks ago, only a 7% chance Watt’s bill will make it out of committee, and only a 1% chance of its becoming law.