Joe Smith, the Obama administration's nominee for director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said Monday that the government should continue playing a role in the mortgage market, but he left the final word to Congress.

In written responses to more than two dozen questions posed by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Smith acknowledged advantages in having the government play a part in the housing market, citing 30-year mortgage products created during the Great Depression, and he suggested that this support could continue in particular areas.

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