Senate Committee Approves HUD Nominees

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs voted on November 28 to recommend three nominees for HUD assistant secretary positions. The nominees are Brian Montgomery for assistant secretary for housing-Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner, Robert Kurtz for assistant secretary for Public and Indian Housing, and Suzanne Israel Tufts for assistant secretary for administration. The committee vote followed on a confirmation hearing held on October 26 (Memo: 10/30). The nominations will soon move to the full Senate for a final vote.

Both Brian Montgomery and Robert Kurtz have experience at HUD. This would be Mr. Montgomery’s second time as the commissioner of the FHA. He held the position under the Bush administration from 2005 to 2009. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) both expressed concerns over Mr. Montgomery’s nomination, citing issues with his previous work as FHA commissioner and in the private sector as reasons for their opposition. Some senators also voted against the nomination for Mr. Kurtz, who is currently the deputy chief of staff for policy and programs at HUD in the Office of the Secretary. Support for Ms. Tufts, a consultant and attorney, was unanimous.