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Bush Nominee for Housing Secretary Cruises Through Confirmation Hearing

Wednesday, January 17, 2001 - 1:45AM

President-elect George W. Bush’s (R) nominee for housing secretary, Mel Martinez, breezed through a two-hour Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 17. He is expected to secure a unanimous Senate confirmation next week, possibly as early as Jan. 20. During the confirmation hearings, Martinez assured Democratic senators that he would strengthen the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has been a target of Republican budget-cutting plans in the past, and increase the agency’s role in providing affordable housing for low-income and minority Americans. His proposals to increase homeownership include a plan to allow low-income families to apply federal rental vouchers toward purchasing a home, tax credits for financial institutions that match the savings of low-income earners, and tax credits designed to encourage the construction and rehabilitation of single-family homes in economically distressed communities.

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