Clinton VP Candidate Revises Unpopular Program Ahead of Convention

By Steven Klett, Epoch Times
July 1, 2016 Updated: July 1, 2016    

With only weeks away from the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia, one of the candidates on Hillary Clinton’s shortlist announced changes to Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

Julian Castro—Secretary of HUD—is considered one of the top contenders to become Clinton’s running mate. He was appointed to the HUD position by President Obama in 2014, launching him from Mayor of San Antonio to the national stage.

The revisions to the program include giving homeowners “a new chance to reduce the principal they owe on their mortgage” and prohibiting financial firms from easily selling or giving up decrepit properties, according to a report by Politico.

Castro’s work as secretary has been a point of contention; 11 Latino groups and several progressive groups have attacked HUD for selling struggling homeowners’ mortgages to hedge funds. 

The revisions to the program aim to silence its critics under Castro’s leadership.

Another VP potential, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has been one of the critics calling for major reforms to the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program in HUD. 

Warren, along with Castro and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, make up Clinton’s shortlist of contenders.

There are two competing philosophies for deciding between the three choices. Clinton’s campaign could choose a woman or minority to target those demographics in the general election, or it could choose a moderate like Kaine to appeal to moderates and Republicans. 

Earlier this week, a report in Politico said Kaine accepted gifts, including an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes and a trip to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball Final Four during his years as lieutenant governor and governor.

While legal under Virginia’s gift laws, the gifts could be fodder for negative publicity. 

Elizabeth Warren has been on the campaign trail with Clinton in high-profile rallies in Ohio.

Warren has been the loudest critical voice of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, and tapping her as the running mate would appease progressives in the Democratic party who support Bernie Sanders. 

However, Warren has often been critical of Clinton, and the two have clashed over policy in the past.