Senate approves Julian Castro to be housing secretary

Senators voted 71 to 26 to confirm San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  July 9, 2014 at 12:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was easily approved by the Senate to serve as the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday.

Voting 71 to 26, Castro's nomination easily cleared the simple majority needed for confirmation.

The Texas Democrat became the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city when he was elected in 2009 at the age of 34. As one of the party's rising stars, Castro's Hispanic identity and compelling biography as the grandson of Mexican immigrants have put him and his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, on many Democrats' shortlists as future presidential or vice presidential material.

He 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.

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.

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