Senate confirms Marcia Fudge as Biden’s Housing secretary

Politics

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – DECEMBER 11: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) delivers remarks after being introduced as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs at the Queen Theater on December 11, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. President-elect Joe Biden is continuing to round out his domestic team with the announcement of his choices for cabinet secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Agriculture, and the heads of his domestic policy council and the U.S. Trade Representative. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, placing the longtime Ohio lawmaker in charge of the agency just as Congress is poised to pass new benefits for renters and homeowners who have suffered economic losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fudge, who has represented parts of Cleveland and Akron in the House since 2008, is a former mayor and a longtime advocate for assistance for the needy.

She said at her confirmation hearing in January that her first priority would be protecting the millions of people who have fallen behind on rent or mortgages due to loss of income during the pandemic, telling senators that “we cannot afford to allow people in the midst of a pandemic to be put in the streets.”

Her confirmation, 66-34, comes as the Senate is approving a slate of President Joe Biden’s nominees.

The Senate is expected to confirm Judge Merrick Garland as Attorney General on Wednesday, and will vote on whether to advance the nomination of North Carolina regulator Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fudge won bipartisan support for her nomination, including from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he would support her and Garland.

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