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Decision time on NC Rep. Watt's confirmation nears

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Civil rights groups and other organizations are trying to help North Carolina U.S. Rep. Mel Watt get confirmed as the government's chief regulator of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

President Barack Obama nominated Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency nearly six months ago. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants a procedural vote later this week to see if there are enough votes for his confirmation.

NAACP President Ben Jealous and leaders of the League of United Latin American Citizens and National Urban League scheduled a conference call Wednesday to urge Watt's approval.

Watt is a Charlotte attorney first elected to Congress in 1992. He was previously chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Watt's confirmation would mean a special election for someone to serve out his term.

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