WASHINGTON (AP) — North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt has been sworn in to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Vice President Joe Biden presided over a ceremonial swearing-in on Monday on the White House grounds. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx officially swore in Watt earlier in the day.

Watt represented North Carolina in the House but is stepping down to take over as a top housing regulator.

He was confirmed by the Senate in December after being in limbo since President Barack Obama nominated him in May. Republicans said he’s not qualified, while Democrats said the 21-year House veteran has the needed experience.

Filibuster changes that Senate Democrats made late last year lowered the voting threshold for Watt and others to be confirmed.

(AP Photo: Vice President Joe Biden administers the oath of office to Mel Watt as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency during a ceremonially swearing-in ceremony)

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