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Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as the United States of America's 46th president on Jan. 20, 2021. This series, started before his inauguration, covers the efforts of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to build their administration.

Biden Plans To Tap Rep. Marcia Fudge As Housing Secretary, Tom Vilsack As Agriculture

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, at the Capitol in 2018.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, at the Capitol in 2018.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a job Vilsack also held during the Obama administration, a source familiar with the transition discussions tells NPR's Franco Ordoñez. The source spoke on condition of anonymity about private conversations.

The two departments have a key role in supporting American households. HUD is responsibility for affordable housing while USDA oversees food assistance programs, as well as traditional farm support programs.

Fudge would be the fourth African American person Biden plans to nominate to his cabinet. He has been under pressure to ensure his cabinet and team of advisers is diverse. Vilsack is one of many former Obama administration officials who would be returning to office.

Tom Vilsack testifies during a hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in 2016 on Capitol Hill.
Alex Wong / Getty Images
Tom Vilsack testifies during a hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in 2016 on Capitol Hill.

The news of the selections was first reported by Politico and Axios.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Fudge said she had not been offered the HUD job, but had spoken with Biden and his team and said "if I can help this president in any way possible, I am more than happy to do it."

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