The U.S. Senate blocked the confirmation of two of President Barack Obama's nominations Thursday.

The nomination of U.S. Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC, 12) was four votes shy of moving forward, with the Senate voting 56 to 42. Forty-one Republicans voted against Watt's nomination and just two voted for him. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk voted against Watt's confirmation, garnering the ire of the Woodstock Institute.

“We are deeply disappointed in Sen. Kirk’s decision to block an up-or-down vote on Congressman Watt’s confirmation,” says Dory Rand, president of Woodstock Institute. “Blocking the confirmation of a sitting member of Congress is almost unprecedented. Congressman Watt is an eminently qualified candidate to lead the FHFA, with more than four decades of experience as a Congressman focusing on financial issues and as a small business and real estate lawyer.”

"The current acting director of FHFA’s poor decisions are holding communities back from recovering from the foreclosure crisis,” Rand continued. “The FHFA sued the City of Chicago in order to avoid maintenance standards for vacant homes with Fannie- and Freddie-backed mortgages. Ed DeMarco refuses to implement effective solutions to prevent foreclosures on underwater homes. Illinois homeowners need an FHFA director, like Congressman Watt, with the vision to jump-start the housing market in communities that need it most. Sen. Kirk, unfortunately, did not stand with Illinois homeowners today.”

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