Joe Biden picks Marcia Fudge for housing, Tom Vilsack for USDA

source https://abc7ny.com/politics/sources-biden-picks-fudge-for-housing-vilsack-for-usda/8632663/

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden made two key domestic policy picks, selecting Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as his housing and urban development secretary and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration, according to five people familiar with the decisions.

The picks on Tuesday highlighted Biden’s delicate balancing act as he builds out his Cabinet, seeking to diversify his picks and reward the coalitions that helped elect him while also following his instincts to surround himself with close allies who served in the Obama administration.


Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was just elected to a seventh term representing a majority Black district that includes parts of Cleveland and Akron. Vilsack spent eight years as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Obama administration and served two terms as Iowa governor.

Their intended nominations were confirmed to The Associated Press by five people familiar with one or both of the decisions who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid preempting the president-elect’s announcement. ABC News has also confirmed this report.

Biden has viewed Fudge as a leading voice for working families and a longtime champion of affordable housing, infrastructure and other priorities, while Vilsack was selected in part because of the heightened hunger crisis facing the nation and the need to ensure someone was ready to run the department on day one, according to those briefed on the decision.

As news outlets started reporting Fudge’s selection as HUD secretary, she said on Capitol Hill that it would be “an honor and a privilege” to be asked to join Biden’s Cabinet, though she didn’t confirm she had been picked.

“It is something in probably my wildest dreams I would have never thought about. So if I can help this president in any way possible, I am more than happy to do it,” she said Tuesday evening.

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