The Trump administration said it plans to nominate conservative economist Mark Calabria to lead Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator, a potentially controversial choice because he has previously called for dramatically reducing the government’s role in the housing market.

Calabria is currently chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence. If confirmed by the Senate, he would replace Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, a Barack Obama-appointee who has led the watchdog since President Donald Trump took office. In a Dec. 11 statement, the White House said it intends to nominate Calabria for a five-year term.

Mark Calabria
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Calabria would...