Our guest blogger is Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
As you are no doubt aware, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and I sent a letter to President Bush a little over a week ago calling for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson’s resignation. Earlier today he announced his resignation. While a shift in the Administration at such a critical time is never optimal, I do believe it was the right thing to do.
In this time of economic crisis and instability in the housing market, it is more important than ever that we have a HUD Secretary who is fully committed to addressing the challenges facing our economy. Given that Secretary Jackson is currently the subject of ongoing investigations into alleged misconduct at HUD, it became clear to me over the past few weeks and months that these investigations have been a distraction at a time when the HUD Secretary must devote his undivided attention to helping American homeowners.
Now, more than ever, we need a HUD Secretary who can devote his full energy to solving our nation’s housing crisis. It is my hope that the new HUD Secretary the President appoints will be ready and anxious to tackle the problems in our housing market through collaboration with the Senate Banking Committee and other federal entities. We need all hands on deck to address the problems of the mortgage industry and the Americans whose budgets are being stretched to the limit by rising mortgage payments and cost-of-living increases. New leadership at HUD will help renew our focus on the country’s economic problems, and aid our attempts to restore confidence in the housing market.
Thanks again for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you here today, and I look forward to contributing in the future.
— Chris Dodd