Bush to name SBA chief to take over HUD

April 18, 2008 9:39:15 AM PDT
President Bush on Friday said he would nominate SBA Administrator Steve Preston to take over as head of the government's housing agency at a time of crisis in the industry, citing "an impressive background in finance." Democrats praised Preston as a problem-solver. If confirmed by the Senate, Preston would replace Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who announced his resignation last month amid allegations of political favoritism and a criminal investigation. Jackson's last day on the job is to be Friday.

In a White House ceremony, Bush called Preston "a reformer who would act aggressively to help Americans obtain affordable mortgages."

Speaking of Jackson, Bush called him "my dear friend ... a decent man, a dedicated man and a compassionate man."

"I wish you lots of luck as you head back to Texas," Bush said. "I'll be right behind you."