Mayor Julian Castro was grilled on issues ranging from how to end the problem of homeless veterans to how to make sure that taxpayers aren't left holding the bill for any future problems with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac during a two hour confirmation hearing before a U.S. Senate committee today, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The mayor testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, following his nomination to the cabinet post by President Obama.
Castro told the committee that he supports what he called 'goal oriented' policies, pointing out that his tenure in San Antonio was marked by accomplishments which followed clearly enunciated goals, like SA 2020.
"We set a goal early on, for instance, of trying to create 5000 housing units in our downtown by the year 2020," Castro said. "Later we increased that to 7500."
The mayor also said the policies of the Obama Administration have helped to stabilize Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and he doesn't expect the taxpayers to have to bail out the mortgage holders again, like they did following the 2008 housing crash.
"The credit quality of borrowers for the FHA is stronger than it has ever been, with a FICO score of just over 700," he said.
But Castro stuck closely to his script when asked specific questions by lawmakers.
"I will look forward to bringing a ton of energy, to look forward to meeting that goal," was a common answer.
Castro's nomination is expected to be approved overwhelmingly.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced Castro to the committee.
"After meeting with Mayor Castro, I am encouraged that he would employ the same energetic vision that has characterized his tenure leading Texas' second largest city," Cornyn said. "I look forward to hearing how he would approach some of the specific challenges I've identified, and those that wil be identified by the committee."
Castro is expected to win final Senate confirmation before the Congressional summer recess begins in late July.