Biden fires Trump-appointed FHFA director, names interim replacement

Although many on the left decried former President Donald Trump’s decisions to fire any chief of a federal agency, they have had a notably different reaction to such moves by President Joe Biden.

As a recent example, the president’s abrupt decision to fire the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) just hours after a Supreme Court decision affirmed his ability to do so, progressive partisans and media pundits have offered a muted, if not supportive response.

Biden makes his move

According to the Washington Examiner, the FHFA provides oversight of the two largest federally backed home mortgage companies — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and was led by Trump-appointed Mark Calabria, a proponent of free-market economics.

He was fired on Wednesday evening, however, shortly after the nation’s highest court issued a ruling that, in part, struck down a restriction that allowed the president to cut short the term of the agency’s director only “for cause.”

The ink was barely dry on the Collins v. Yellen decision before Biden acted to rid the federal agency of its appointed director.

One unnamed official told the Examiner that Calabria’s replacement will be someone who more closely reflects the “values” of the Biden administration.

“It is critical that the agency implement the administration’s housing policies,” the insider said.

Acting director named

Biden did not waste any time naming his choice to replace the outgoing FHFA chief, either, with Politico reporting the acting director would be Sandra Thompson, who has served as the deputy director of the agency’s Division of Housing Mission and Goals since 2013.

Calabria’s libertarian bent, including a goal to reduce federal control over the nation’s housing market, clearly did not reflect the administration’s position.

In contrast, Thompson is seen as largely in step with Biden’s view that the federal government should exert additional influence, as she intimated in a statement on Wednesday in which she cited the perceived need to take decisive action in response to a “widespread lack of affordable housing and access to credit, especially in communities of color.”

Thompson took her advocacy for more federal oversight a step further, asserting that it is “FHFA’s duty through our regulated entities to ensure that all Americans have equal access to safe, decent and affordable housing.”

For his part, Calabria issued a parting shot that seemed to warn of another possible housing market crisis: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will fail at their current capital levels. I wish my successor all the best in fixing the remaining flaws of the housing finance system in order to preserve homeownership opportunities for all Americans.”

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