Calabria, the current chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence and a former Republican aide on the Senate Banking Committee, is known across the industry as an advocate for substantially shrinking the footprint of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The White House announced that Trump intended to nominate Calabria to the post in December, and officially nominated him Jan. 3 at the start of the 116th Congress. If confirmed, Calabria will serve a five-year term.
Until Calabria is confirmed, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting will serve as acting director of the agency. Otting officially assumed the acting role Monday after former FHFA Director Mel Watt’s term ended Sunday.
In his former role as the director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute, Calabria was vocal about his opinions on the best path forward following the government’s 2008 takeover of Fannie and Freddie, and criticized lawmakers for declining to take action toward creating a more sustainable mortgage market.
The White House’s intention to nominate Calabria in December was applauded by several prominent Republicans who have adopted similar views, including former House Financial Services Chair Jeb Hensarling and the current ranking member of the committee, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.