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Marcia Fudge will press senators for more housing assistance, creating clash with GOP

“There will be a fairly large focus on Representative Fudge’s political positions as being a bit outside the mainstream of conventional democratic orthodoxy,” the aide said, highlighting a resolution calling for a “Charter of Rights of the Nation. poverty “that the veteran lawmaker introduced. last summer.

Fudge will also mark his 12 years in Congress by advocating for the poor to highlight his skills as running the $ 50 billion housing agency, which manages everything from government home loans and housing vouchers to housing assistance programs. for low-income people.

“HUD – perhaps more than any other department – exists to serve America’s most vulnerable people,” she will tell the panel during her confirmation hearing. “This mandate is very important to me. It’s consistent with my own values ​​and that’s precisely what has always motivated me to serve. “

These remarks seem intended to allay concerns about its lightweight housing portfolio. Fudge – a member of the House agriculture committee who made protecting and expanding the benefits of food stamps a priority during his time in Congress – had openly pushed for the appointment of the secretary of agriculture before that Biden does not choose Tom Vilsack to take over the role he held throughout the Obama administration. .

The abrupt decision to offer him the HUD position instead baffled Washington and alarmed some housing advocates who feared the administration would leave the ministry short, given Fudge’s previous complaint that Black Cabinet officials are often confined to the same limited positions. “You know it’s always ‘we want to put the black person into labor or HUD’,” she told POLITICO in November, less than a month before I got the HUD nod.

The former president of the Congressional Black Caucus will play her progressive game on Thursday, urging lawmakers to step up assistance to tenants and landlords during the pandemic and beyond.

HUD will play a key role in the administration’s response to the pandemic, which has left millions of people behind on rent and mortgage payments; the $ 25 billion in housing assistance passed by Congress last month is “not enough,” Fudge will tell the panel.

Fudge’s “Poverty Bill of Rights” resolution listed “accessible, affordable and safe housing” as one of the 23 rights of “all Americans to live a life free from poverty and its effects”.

“This type of approach to governance will have some Republicans deeply concerned that a HUD activist is doing things best left to local communities,” the aide said. “You can’t just create a natural right to compel someone else to provide you with affordable housing. It is not a right.

Fudge will also highlight the Biden administration’s emphasis on tackling housing segregation, promising to “ensure our fair housing rules do what they are supposed to do.”

Biden signed a memorandum on Tuesday recognizing the role the federal government has played in perpetuating a discriminatory housing policy under a list of four executive actions to promote racial equity.

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