For the second day in a row, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm the nomination of a new member of President Obama’s cabinet.
On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Castro was confirmed by a 71-26 vote.
Castro will take over for current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who had been nominated to the post of Director of Office of Management and Budget. Donovan’s nomination was confirmed by the Senate Thursday by a 75-22 margin.
When Donovan’s nomination was announced, President Obama praised his work over the last six years. Donovan has been a member of President Obama’s cabinet since Obama took office in 2008.
"I am pleased that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate today confirmed Shaun Donovan as the next Director of the Office of Management and Budget," President Obama said. "From his outstanding work at HUD helping to rebuild our housing market to his leadership in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Shaun has played a crucial role in our efforts to battle back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes and expand opportunity for more Americans.
"While we have made significant strides by investing in areas that are helping to grow the economy, creating good jobs, and promoting more effective and efficient management in government, Shaun knows there is more work to do, and today’s bipartisan vote ensures the dedicated professionals at OMB will have a proven, effective leader to build on the progress we’ve made."
When Obama announced Donovan's nomination, he noted the “millions of families that have been able to come up for air” during Donovan’s tenure of HUD. “Over the years, Shaun has taken an agency with a $40 billion budget and made it smarter and more efficient,” Obama said. “He’s helped build strong sustainable neighborhoods. He’s helped 4.3 million families buy their piece of the American dream.”
Now the path is clear for Castro to take the lead at HUD. After the Senate confirmed Castro, 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."
Vice President Joe Biden shared his thoughts about Donovan on Twitter, calling him a "tireless public servant."
Shaun Donovan is a tireless public servant who practices fiscal responsibility. We’re lucky to have him as the new OMB director. –VP
— Vice President Biden (@VP) July 10, 2014