President Obama sends Castro, Donovan nominations to the Senate

President Obama on Monday sent two nominations to the Senate to shore up his Cabinet.

Obama has tapped Shaun Donovan to take the reins at the Office of Management and Budget and Julián Castro to take his place at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If confirmed, Donovan would replace former White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is headed to the Health and Human Services Department.

Castro is the mayor of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Housing industry experts have called the reshuffling a positive sign for the future of overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Donovan has spent the past five years as Obama’s point man with Congress and the housing industry on the legislative overhaul of the mortgage finance industry. 

The Senate Banking Committee recently approved a bill but it still needs to attract more Democratic support before getting a floor vote

Henry Cisneros, also a former San Antonio mayor and the HUD secretary under President Clinton, told the Hill recently that while the move can’t really give the issue a boost right now, Donovan will have a good platform to make an argument for the Fannie and Freddie overhaul.

Adding Castro to the administration also gives the finance reform issue and other housing matters a strong voice, too. 

"It’s helpful to have one more capable person on board in this continuing effort,” Cisneros said. “It’s very important to press on.”

He argued that the housing sector has to be put back on a solid course because it is what’s missing from a robust housing recovery and broader economic expansion.

Uncertainty surrounding congressional action among other issues also is hampering the sector's recovery.

"The economic recovery is not complete because housing has not yet found its sea legs," he said.