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US Senate confirms two more key Biden cabinet picks

President Joe Biden's nominee for Housing and Urban Development secretary, Marcia Fudge was confirmed by the Senate [File: Susan Walsh/AP Photo]

 

The us Senate has voted to verify two more of Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees, because the US president seeks to fill vacant positions in his administration and pursue his top policy priorities, including tackling the COVID-19 crisis.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge was confirmed as Secretary of Housing and concrete Development (HUD), giving Biden another cabinet member focused strongly on reducing economic inequalities.

US appellate court Judge Merrick Garland will function US attorney general and take over the US Department of Justice , the highest federal enforcement agency liable for protecting civil rights.

The Senate voted 66-34 in favour of Fudge’s nomination, with all Democrats and independents also as 16 Republicans voting in favour.

Garland, who had been blocked in 2016 from becoming a US Supreme Court justice, was confirmed during a 70-30 vote.

Democrats have praised Garland, 68, as a highly qualified and honourable jurist who is uniquely qualified to steer the Department of Justice after a tumultuous four years under former President Donald Trump.

During her hearing , Fudge, 68, had involved more housing aid to assist tens of many people that are behind on rent and three million homeowners currently in forbearance or delinquent on their mortgages thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shortly after she was confirmed – and minutes before she resigned her position in Congress – Fudge took her last choose the House in support of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which might provide billions in housing assistance to low-income households.

The bill includes $45bn to assist struggling Americans pay rent, mortgages and utilities and place homeless people in housing. the govt estimates that 12 million people owe a mean of $5,800 in back rent and utilities.

“My first priority as secretary would be to alleviate that crisis and obtain people the support they have to return back from the sting ,” Fudge told the Senate committee .

As HUD secretary, she would be liable for distributing much of the COVID-19 housing aid.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey criticised a number of Fudge’s past comments about Republicans, saying they might have a “toxic and detrimental impact on the working relationship that need to be a constructive relationship” between Congress and therefore the Biden administration.

Fudge last year had said Republicans bent replacing late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November presidential election “are a disgrace to the present nation”.

Fudge acknowledged she wasn’t always “pitch-perfect” but pledged to figure with Republicans as HUD secretary.

The Senate also confirmed Michael Regan to steer the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday evening after his nomination cleared a procedural vote earlier within the day.

Regan, who has served as North Carolina’s top environmental regulator since 2017, will help lead Biden’s efforts to deal with global climate change and advocate for environmental justice, two of the administration’s top priorities. he’s the primary Black man to run the EPA.

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