Senate Banking Committee Reports Out Castro and Wertheimer Nominations
On June 25, 2014, the Senate Banking Committee approved (16-6) and reported out the nominations of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro for the position of secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Laura Wertheimer for the position of inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Senator Menendez is a member of the Banking Committee and voted in favor of both nominees.
Both nominations now await the action of the full Senate.
During the hearing, Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, asked Castro if he would help push for action on the committee-approved Johnson-Crapo reform bill if he was confirmed to HUD. Castro didn’t answer that directly but said he shares in the committee’s concerns about housing finance reform.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., asked Castro if taxpayers can be protected without reforms to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Castro said taxpayers need to be more protected than they are now and reiterated that the government-sponsored enterprises’ current situation is unsustainable. He added there needs to be private capital in the first-loss position.
In his opening statement, Castro stressed that if confirmed to HUD, he would work with various agencies to improve the housing sector and continue current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s work in measuring the department’s investments by the impact they make in the industry.