WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- A Senate committee approved the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be the secretary of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday, sending his nomination to a final vote.
Members of the Banking Committee voted 16-6 to recommend Castro's nomination to lead the housing agency after several hearings in which Castro stopped short of giving his support to the housing reform bill championed by Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and ranking member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.
Castro is expected to be easily confirmed by the full Senate, and will be charged with advocating the winding down of the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were rescued by taxpayers in the midst of the housing crisis in 2008.
At 39, Castro became the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city when he was elected in 2009. He is considered a rising star within the Democratic Party, with some interpreting his nomination as a way to fast-track him to a potential vice presidential nomination in 2016.
Once confirmed, Castro will replace Shaun Donovan, who was tapped by President Obama to replace newly installed Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell, formerly the director of the Office of Management and Budget.