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NC banking commissioner wins nod from Senate panel

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The US Senate could decide this week whether to confirm North Carolina's banking commissioner as leader of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the Senate's banking committee voted 16-6 Tuesday to recommend Joseph A. Smith Jr. as chief regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee more than half of U.S. mortgages. The two mortgage giants have been kept afloat with $150 billion from the federal government. The 61-year-old Raleigh man would be in charge of carrying out a plan to reorganize them that the Obama Administration must provide Congress next month.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-15-10 0839EST

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