The Senate confirmed Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday, placing the longtime Ohio lawmaker in charge of the agency as Congress passed new benefits for renters and homeowners who have suffered economic losses amid the coronavirus pandemic, the AP reports. 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."
Her confirmation, 66-34, comes as the Senate is approving a slate of President Biden’s nominees. The Senate confirmed Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general Wednesday afternoon and could vote to confirm North Carolina regulator Michael Regan to lead the EPA as soon as Wednesday evening. Fudge won bipartisan support for her nomination, including from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he would support her and Garland. "These aren’t the nominees that any Republican would have picked for these jobs,” McConnell said ahead of the vote. “But the nation needs presidents to be able to stand up a team so long as their nominees are qualified and mainstream."
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