WASHINGTON—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 passed 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.”
Shortly after she was confirmed—and minutes before she resigned—Fudge took the last vote of her House career in support of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which would provide billions in housing assistance to low-income households.
Fudge’s confirmation, 66-34, comes as the Senate is approving a slate of President Joe Biden’s nominees. The Senate also confirmed Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general Wednesday and is voting on the confirmation of North Carolina regulator Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday evening after his nomination cleared a procedural vote earlier in the day.
Fudge won bipartisan support for her nomination, including from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he would support her and Garland.
By Mary Clare Jalonick and Matthew Daly