June 24, 2014

Senate Banking to vote on HUD, FHFA nominees

June 25, 2014 – The Senate Banking Committee today will vote on 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.

During his nomination hearing last week, Castro told the Senate Banking Committee he shares the panel's goals of protecting taxpayers and continuing access to mortgage credit in housing finance reform.

When he was asked by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., if taxpayers can be protected without reforms to 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.

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. In 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 has pressed for small institutions to have equal, competitive access to the secondary mortgage market in any future housing finance system, during the ongoing reform debate.

If approved by the Senate Banking Committee, Castro's and Wertheimer's nominations will await a vote by the full Senate.