Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 5:34 PM
Paul Krugman says Obama should fire the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency so he'll stop holding up important mortgage refinancing initiatives. I'd like to see the initiatives undertaken, but it's far from clear that Obama actually can do this. The reason is that Edward DeMarco is merely Acting Director of the FHFA and the statute says:
In the event of the death, resignation, sickness, or absence of the Director, the President shall designate either the Deputy Director of the Division of Enterprise Regulation, the Deputy Director of the Division of Federal Home Loan Bank Regulation, or the Deputy Director for Housing Mission and Goals, to serve as acting Director until the return of the Director, or the appointment of a successor pursuant to subsection (b)
The way for the president to remove DeMarco from his job as acting director would be to replace him with a new director. The reason DeMarco is in office now is that Obama neglected to name a successor until the 2010 lame duck session at which point it was child's play for Senate Republicans to block confirmation. The time to get rid of DeMarco was 2009.