Vice President Kamala Harris swore in Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development last night. She was confirmed with a 66-34 vote. Fudge served in Congress representing Ohio since 2008, previously chairing the Congressional Black Caucus. During her Senate confirmation hearing in January, Fudge promised to make the housing crisis from the pandemic her first priority as HUD secretary, reports CNN. She also supports the extension of the eviction moratorium and rental assistance, but argues it's not enough to help. Energy-efficient housing remains a top priority for Fudge as well, vowing to deliver on Biden’s promise to build 1.5 million energy-efficient affordable housing units.
During the hearing, the Ohio Democrat also faced scrutiny from Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey, who said he was troubled by past comments she made "attacking and disparaging the integrity and motives of Republican officials with whom you have policy disagreements." Toomey, who chaired the Senate Banking Committee at the time, also raised concerns with Fudge's lack of background in housing policy.
Fudge responded by arguing that she has a bipartisanship record and the "ability and capacity to work with Republicans, and I intend to do just that." She also pointed to her experience as the first Black woman to serve as mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, during which she claimed she expanded affordable housing.