June 25, 2014

Senate Banking approves HUD, FHFA nominees

June 26, 2014 – The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday approved and reported out the nominations of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Laura Wertheimer to be inspector general at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Both nominations now await action of the full Senate. Castro's nomination was approved by the committee by a vote of 16-6. Wertheimer was approved by a voice vote.

Castro testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week, where he told the panel he shared in its goals of protecting taxpayers and continuing access to mortgage credit in housing finance reform. Castro also noted during his hearing that mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their current situation are not sustainable and that there needs to be private capital in the first-loss position.

Castro was nominated by President Obama to replace current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was nominated to be the new director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

This April, Scott Moriarty, the head of mortgage lending at Affinity Federal Credit Union (N.J.), and Bill O'Brien, CEO of Suffolk Federal Credit Union (N.Y.) – both NAFCU members – attended a roundtable discussion with Donovan to discuss housing finance reform. NAFCU is pressing for small institutions to have equal, competitive access to the secondary mortgage market in any future housing finance system.