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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Marcia Fudge to be President Biden’s new secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by a vote of 66-34.
Fudge will leave her seat as a Democratic House member from Ohio to join the Biden administration. She will take over from Acting HUD Secretary Matt Ammon, who was preceded by Trump appointee Ben Carson.
Fudge secured several GOP votes but nomination was not entirely uncontroversial. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., lambasted Fudge during a Senate floor speech on Wednesday.
“The confirmation of Cabinet secretaries is one of the most important constitutional functions that we have in the Senate,” Toomey said. He added that cabinet secretaries ust be able to “work productively with Congress” but said he is “concerned that Rep. Fudge’s past rhetoric makes clear that she lacks the temperament to cooperate with Congress… and cast doubt on whether she even wants to.”
In this image from video, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. (House Television via AP)
Toomey said that Fudge in the past had a pattern of “attacking and disparaging the motives of Republicans with whom she has policy disagreements.” This included attacking “efforts to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court,” Toomey said. She said, according to Toomey, that Senate Republicans “had no decency, no honor, no integrity. She went on to say… ‘that we are a disgrace to the nation.'”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who lives in Fudge’s district, meanwhile, said that after the racial unrest of the past year that is important that the person set to lead HUD is a Black woman.
“I’m confident soon-to-be secretary fudge will help change” the low Black home-ownership rate, Brown said. “Congresswoman Fudge will help to protect our kids from the lead poisoning that is still all too common in [Fudge’s congressional district], to restore the promise of fair housing, to give communities the help and resources they need to thrive,” Brown added.
Brown continued: “She brings to the job critical experience serving as a mayor in the industrial heartland to the kind of community that’s either overlooked or preyed upon by Wall Street big investments,” Brown said. “She understands our communities. She’ll lift up the voices of all the people… left out of our housing policies.”
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Fudge, 68, has served as the representative for Ohio’s 11th congressional district since 2008. A former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Fudge recently served on several House committees, including agriculture and education and labor.
Prior to entering Congress, Fudge served as the mayor of Warrensville Heights in Ohio from 2000 to 2008. Her congressional career began when she replaced the late Democratic Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones following her sudden death in 2008.
Fudge will be just the second Black woman to lead HUD in its history and the first woman to do so in more than 40 years.
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.
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