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Photo: RJ Sangosti/Denver Post/Getty Images

Mark Calabria was confirmed by the Senate in a vote of 55-44 to serve as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, wherein his primary task will be to overhaul the whole system, reports Politico.

Why it matters: Calabria, who has been the top economic adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, will oversee mortgage giants Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in his new role. The U.S. government seized these 2 companies during a bailout in 2008, and President Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday asking for the companies to be removed from government oversight.

What they're saying:

  • Pence was quick to applaud the nomination of Calabria on Twitter, who, he said, will lead with "distinction."
  • Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Calabria "a man who has said that 'extensive regulation' led to the financial crisis and 'bankers shouldn’t be blamed'!"
  • Sen. Sherrord Brown (D-Ohio) tweeted: "When discussing our housing system, our first goal has to be making it easier for Americans to afford housing. Nothing in Mark Calabria’s record indicates that he would put working families first if confirmed to lead @FHFA. The Senate must oppose his nomination."
  • Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) tweeted: "My former advisor, Mark Calabria, was just confirmed to serve as @FHFA director. This is excellent news for the #finance community in #AL & across the nation. I look forward to working w/ Mark in his new capacity as he uses his knowledge & experience to effectively lead the FHFA."

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Health

First blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer's goes public

Photo: Jerry Naunheim Jr./C2N Diagnostics via AP

A non-COVID medical breakthrough: People over 60 now have access to a blood test for Alzheimer's disease.

Why it matters: The existing PET brain scan test costs some people about $5,000 and often isn't covered by insurance, AP reports.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, making President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds official.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost. 

3 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.