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WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development — the second African American nominated to Biden’s cabinet this week, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Fudge was selected to lead the $50 billion agency after her bid to become the first woman to run the Department of Agriculture, a role which the congresswoman would have reportedly used to focus on food insecurity rather than farming, was unsuccessful.
Democratic stalwart Jim Clyburn pushed for Fudge, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, to be nominated for a cabinet position in an interview with MSNBC earlier Tuesday.
“Look for her to be in the cabinet,” Clyburn (D-S.C.) told “Morning Joe.”
“It may not be at Agriculture but she will be nominated to be in the cabinet,” he added.
Biden has been under increasing pressure to add more African Americans to his White House and on Tuesday announced he had asked retired four-star Gen. Lloyd Austin to be his defense secretary.
Both Fudge and Lloyd will need to be confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate.
The Agriculture Department role is now expected to go to Tom Vilsack, who was former President Barack Obama’s Agriculture secretary from 2009 through 2017.
Fudge denied news of her appointment to lead HUD, countering reporting from The New York Times, Associated Press, Politico and NBC News.
Fudge told Politico’s congressional bureau chief John Bresnahan that she was still in “a holding pattern” but that the job would be “an honor and a privilege.”
“If it were to happen, I would happily accept it,” the Ohio lawmaker said.
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