March 10, 2021

Ahead of the Final Confirmation Vote, Brown Again Takes to the Senate Floor in Support of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge’s Nomination to Lead HUD

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, took to the Senate Floor to urge his colleagues to confirm Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Brown’s remarks on the Senate Floor, as prepared for delivery, are below:

Mr./Mdme. President,

Today I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting another dedicated and talented public servant, and a great Ohioan – my Congresswoman for the last 12 years, Marcia Fudge, to be our next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

I can think of no one better to lead us out of this pandemic and create strong communities for the future than Marcia Fudge.

When she came before the Banking and Housing Committee, Congresswoman Fudge’s knowledge, her passion for service, and her commitment to the people who make this country work were obvious to all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike.

And after a year when Black Americans endured so many painful reminders of the yawning gap between the promise of our founding ideals, and our failure to make that promise real for everyone, it’s meaningful that our Committee’s first nomination’s hearing featured two Black women who will take leading roles in our economic recovery – Congresswoman Fudge and Dr. Cecilia Rouse.

The Senate confirmed Dr. Rouse with broad bipartisan support earlier this month.

This matters on so many levels. It’s important for our future that little girls, including Black and brown girls, see themselves in our leaders, from the Vice President to our economic leaders.

And it matters because of the perspectives and the life experiences these two women – these two Black women – bring to these jobs.

Congresswoman Fudge will lead an agency that supports families and communities, provides housing and safety to people experiencing homelessness, and helps communities rebuild.

Today, HUD is grappling with a housing market where millions of families find it harder and harder to afford a decent home.

New data out this week confirms that home prices are soaring around the country, even while millions are still out of work.

The cost of housing is up, wages are flat, and so many workers have trouble making rent every month without crippling stress, or turning to predatory loans.

And the dream of home ownership is increasingly out of reach. 

None of this started with COVID-19. The affordable housing crisis is the product of decades of conscious policy decisions – by both government and corporations. 

This pandemic has exposed what millions of families in this country already knew – that for far too many people, a hard day’s work doesn’t pay the bills.

Before the U.S. ever had its first case of COVID-19, a quarter of all renters were already paying more than half their income for housing, and the Black homeownership rate was nearly as low as it was in 1968, when housing discrimination was legal.

HUD should play an essential role in fixing that, and I’m confident that under Marcia Fudge’s leadership, it will.

She understands the importance of expanding opportunity to every zip code, and allowing more families to have the peace of mind and the economic security of a safe home they can afford. 

Congresswoman Fudge will work to help protect our kids from lead poisoning, to restore the promise of fair housing, and to give communities the help and resources they need to thrive.

She brings to the job critical experience serving as a mayor in the industrial heartland, for the kind of community that is either overlooked, or outright preyed upon, by Wall Street and big investors.

She understands our communities, and she will lift up the voices of all the people who have been left out of our housing policy – people who work hard to try to keep a roof over their families’ heads, but whose hard work never seems to pay off like it should.

People who are just trying their best to make rent or pay the mortgage every month, but who feel like they can’t keep up, no matter how hard they work.

Those are the workers and their families that Marcia Fudge knows.

And she has the expertise and the tenacity to fight for them, to deliver real results that make a difference in people’s lives.

I urge my colleagues to confirm Congresswoman Fudge, so she can get to work for the American people.