President-elect Joe Biden has selected Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.
The offer to lead the roughly $50 billion housing agency comes after weeks in which Fudge launched a bid to become the first Black female Agriculture secretary.
Fudge, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and her allies in the Congressional Black Caucus had lobbied openly for the USDA job. Biden is now leaning toward choosing former Obama agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, however.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) — whose endorsement was pivotal in helping Biden secure the nomination — has pushed aggressively for Fudge to be named to the Cabinet and said earlier Tuesday she would land a top job. The Cleveland congresswoman also has the support of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, which will handle her nomination.
A spokesperson for Fudge did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Biden transition declined to comment.
Fudge lamented just last month in an interview with POLITICO that Black policymakers have traditionally been relegated to just a handful of Cabinet positions — including HUD secretary.
“As this country becomes more and more diverse, we’re going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me fit in,” she said. “You know, it’s always ‘we want to put the Black person in Labor or HUD.’”
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SOURCE: Politico, Katy O’Donnell, Tyler Pager, and Megan Cassella