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Jackson Confirmed as HUD Secretary

Jackson Confirmed as HUD SecretaryDemocrats had threatened to block nomination

April 2, 2004

By MICHAEL PATRICK CARNEY

Alphonso Jackson was confirmed late Wednesday as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, despite threats by Senate Democrats to block his nomination unless the White House agreed not to exercise its power to appoint officials during Congressional recesses.

The Senate approved the appointment on unanimous consent one day after the Banking Committee unanimously endorsed the acting secretary’s nomination, which had been bottled up until HUD withdrew controversial mortgage reforms in response to pressure from industry groups and their allies on Capitol Hill.

“President Bush could not have made a better choice in Alphonso Jackson. His decades of experience in addressing housing needs will serve the nation well in this important post,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.

Jackson, a longtime friend of President George W. Bush, had been held up in committee by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), who placed a hold on his nomination because of concerns that the mortgage and title industries did not get a chance to comment on proposed changes to the 1974 truth-in-lending regulations known as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA. Allard endorsed Jackson after HUD pulled the rule from final consideration at the Office of Management and Budget.

Jackson joined HUD in 2001 after a stint as head of American Electric Power-TEXAS in Austin. He ran day-to-day operations at the $32 billion federal agency for the first three years of the Bush Administration, and took the helm at HUD in December 2003 after then-Secretary Mel Martinez left office to begin his campaign for a Florida Senate seat.

Jackson previously ran municipal housing agencies in Dallas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

Alphonso Jackson photo
Jackson at Bush’s
State of Union address

Michael Patrick Carney is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance journalist who has worked from Reuters in Jerusalem and North America. He holds a master’s degree from University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and teaches reporting at a Virginia college.email: MichaelPatrickCarney-MortgageDaily@yahoo.com

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