Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby, the panel's senior Republican, called on President Obama Thursday to appoint a permanent director for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The post has been vacant since the agency was formed two years ago. The lawmakers pointed out that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed in conservatorship nearly two years ago and that under its terms the head of the FHFA holds all the powers of the shareholders, directors and officers of the government-sponsored enterprises.

"While the FHFA currently has an acting director who has served well under difficult circumstances, we believe that a permanent director should be appointed and confirmed," they wrote.

The senators also urged Obama to announce appointments to run other key financial services agency posts, including the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

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