The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs voted two nominees for HUD leadership roles out of committee on December 13. Maurice Jones, the nominee for Deputy Secretary, was approved unanimously.
The vote for Carol Galante as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing was 13-9, mostly along party lines. Ms. Galante has served as acting FHA commissioner since July (see Memo, 7/15).
According to media reports, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) threatened to place a hold on Ms. Galante’s nomination vote until the Obama Administration delivers a plan for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other committee Republicans are also wary of the long-term health of the FHA and are concerned that Congress may have to appropriate funds for its operations. Currently, the FHA brings in revenue from its insurance premiums. These revenues fund the operations of the FHA, guard the FHA from losses, and infuse HUD with billions of dollars annually. If the FHA were to destabilize, it could one day need federal funding just to operate its insurance business.
NLIHC joined other organizations in support of Ms. Galante during the Committee’s November 17 hearing on her nomination (see Memo, 11/18).