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Watch now: President Obama speaks on the U.S. economy

Live from Austin, Texas

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President Barack Obama is set to speak from the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas on Thursday. He is expected to address the U.S. economy and other issues.

In recent weeks, President Obama has nominated a new head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, San Antonio's Julián Castro. Castro was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday by a 71-26 margin. 

Castro is now set to take over HUD as current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has been nominated to the post of Director of Office of Management and Budget.

When he announced Castro’s nomination, President Barack Obama called Castro an “all-star,” who has “become a leader in housing and economic development.”

After Castro was confirmed by the Senate, President Obama released a statement applauding the Senate's actions. "I applaud the bipartisan majority of Senators who today confirmed Julián Castro as our next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development," President Obama said. "Julián is a proven leader, a champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods." 

"I know that together with the dedicated professionals at HUD, Julián will help build on the progress we’ve made battling back from the Great Recession -- rebuilding our housing market, reducing homelessness among veterans, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs that help our citizens succeed," Obama continued. "Julián has lived the American Dream in his own life, and I’m confident he will help Americans across our country seize their own piece of that dream for themselves and their children."

Additionally, the Obama administration recently announced plans to jumpstart housing in the U.S. 

Citing the lack of private capital in the market, the dearth of affordable rental options and the abundance of Americans who are facing foreclosure or are underwater on their mortgages, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced three new plans:

  • The extension of the Making Home Affordable program until “at least December 31, 2016”
  • A plan to expand access to credit by working to revive the private-label mortgage-backed securities market
  • A new partnership between the Treasury and HUD to build new, affordable rental housing

Watch the President's speech from Austin below.

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