By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm Rep. Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The confirmation was met with applause from women’s and other groups.
“We applaud the confirmation of Rep. Fudge as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),” Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, responded in a statement.
“Her appointment comes at a pivotal time when her leadership is sorely needed. The U.S. faces a severe housing crisis as millions of residents struggle to pay their rent and mortgages due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” Howell offered.
She continued, “In addition to dealing with the fallout from the pandemic-induced economic downturn, Rep. Fudge will have to clean up the housing policy mess left by the last administration.
“Black women and their families suffered immensely under Trump’s housing policies, which weakened protections against discrimination. Now, HUD must clean house and get back to the business ensuring all U.S. residents have access to safe, affordable housing”
“In Our Own Voice praises the Senate’s confirmation of Rep. Fudge and we encourage the senators to continue to confirm the president’s other appointees.
“President Biden promised to have a cabinet that truly reflects the people of our country. A government by the people, for the people and of the people must include women and people of color — including the women of color being held up by the Senate. Confirm them now.”
Fudge, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, received a 66-34 vote in the Senate making her the first woman to serve as HUD secretary since 1979.
The Ohio-native becomes the second Black woman and the third woman ever to lead the department.
“I can think of no one better to lead us out of this pandemic and create strong communities for the future than Marcia Fudge,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, told The Hill.
“When she came before the [committee], Congresswoman Fudge’s knowledge and passion for service, her commitment to the people who make this country work were obvious to all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike.”