On Thursday, the Senate confirmed two of President Trump’s cabinet nominees who could have an impact on the fenestration industry — Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Rick Perry as secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Carson will be running the agency that oversees affordable housing programs. It has a budget of around $50 billion.

The retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate has no experience with housing or mortgage policy, but during his confirmation hearing he vowed to enforce anti-discrimination laws in housing and get rid of lead paint in older homes.

Granger MacDonald, chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas,  welcomed Carson’s confirmation.

“NAHB congratulates Dr. Ben Carson on becoming the nation’s 17th HUD secretary,” he said. “Dr. Carson knows that removing regulatory barriers is a necessary component of any national housing policy and that housing is key to the long-term health of the U.S. economy. NAHB looks forward to working with Dr. Carson and his new team to ensure that housing is a national priority, to promote policies that will keep the housing industry moving forward and to provide affordable homeownership and rental opportunities for all Americans.”

Perry supports policies that will increase domestic energy production, but he’s also indicated that he’ll back DOE’s efforts for energy efficiency in buildings. He also said he’d support DOE’s role in pioneering new energy-efficiency technologies, and he pledged to help Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) pass the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, also known as the Shaheen-Portman bill in honor of the Ohio lawmaker and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the co-sponsors.

Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, said her organization is looking forward to working with Perry “to make sure energy efficiency continues to play a central role in U.S. energy policy.”

She also said the Alliance to Save Energy supports Perry’s legislative efforts.

“We were encouraged by his comments supporting efficiency at the confirmation hearing, particularly his commitment to Sen. Portman that he would help pass the Portman-Shaheen efficiency bill,” Callahan said. “We are eager to begin working with his team and showing them the real impact that smart efficiency policy has on innovation and economic growth — whether it’s creating a more competitive American manufacturing sector or helping middle-class homeowners cut their energy bills. The fact is we can’t meet our nation’s energy and environmental goals without strong national efficiency initiatives.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *