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Who Will Influence Housing in the New Trump Cabinet

(Editor's note: This story is part three in a three-part series for DS News on the potential effect of Donald Trump's presidency on the housing industry. Wednesday's story discussed the possible effect of Trump on regulation  and Thursday’s story covered predictions for what certain corners of the housing market might look like under a Trump Administration)

As the reactions to Republican Donald Trump’s election simmer down, attention has now been turned to who the new President-elect will appoint to the critical posts in the cabinet.

Speculations are being thrown around for positions such as Chief of Staff (rumored to come down to Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, according to a report from the New York Times) and Attorney General.

However, for those in the mortgage and housing industry, positions such as HUD Secretary and Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury hold high importance for how the industry will be impacted over the course of Trump’s presidency.

While it is unclear who will be selected for these positions, speculations revolve around industry and housing policy veterans.

“What you get normally from Democrats are people that are more career politicians,” says Bill Dallas, Co-Founder and CEO of cloudvirga. “What you'll get from Republicans are more people with domain expertise.”

For the role of Treasury Secretary, names like Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs executive, have been tossed in to the ring, says the Times.

“When Trump's group moves to the Treasury Secretary, I think what you're going to see is some pretty high-powered, very experienced financial people who have had experience in running banks and who have experience in the economy itself versus people that have worked only in government,” says Dallas.

Speculations from Politico also circulate around the potential for Pam Patenaude, President of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, to be appointed as the next HUD Secretary.

What will happen at the Federal Reserve is also subject to speculation because of Trump’s harsh criticism of the central bank throughout is campaign trail.

“Trump's been very unsupportive in his discussions of Janet Yellen,” says Dallas. “I think the first thing that he's going to have to do is figure out what he wants to do with the Fed Secretary because they pretty much chart the course for the direction of interest rates. That's important. It's an appointed position, but I have a feeling what will happen is Yellen will basically say "I'll tender my resignation and you can put in whomever you want, or I'll continue on."

NPR reports that Trump has approximately 4,000 political appointments that need to be filled, with a quarter of these positions requiring Senate approval. They cite the Partnership for Public Service's Center for Presidential Transition as saying, “best practice generally dictates having White House positions filled by Thanksgiving, and the most important Cabinet positions ready to announce between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

What we do know is the President-elect is currently hard at work to select these individuals. In a recent tweet, Trump said, “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government.”

About Author: Kendall Baer

Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News.
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