The Senate has confirmed Carol Galante to be a HUD assistant secretary and to serve as the Federal Housing Administration commissioner, a position she has held in an acting capacity for over a year.
The Senate voted 69-24 to confirm her Sunday afternoon during a special session to deal with the fiscal cliff.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., voted for her confirmation after securing several commitments from HUD secretary Shaun Donovan and Galante to place a moratorium on a popular FHA-insured reverse mortgage product and to implement other reforms to reduce FHA’s risk profile by Jan. 31.
“These are just a start,” Corker said before the vote and he stressed that more needs to be done to fix the financially strapped FHA single-family program.
The ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee Richard Shelby (Ala.) argued that FHA will probably need a taxpayer bailout and he doesn’t support the current management of the FHA program. He voted against Galante’s confirmation.
Corker stressed that Galante is well qualified to lead FHA and it would be better to have a confirmed commissioner running FHA who can put together her own staff and take more aggressive actions.