The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs voted 17-7 to approve Representative Marcia Fudge’s (D-OH) nomination to be HUD Secretary. Six Republicans broke party lines to approve her nomination: Senators Kevin Cramer (ND), John Kennedy (LA), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Jerry Moran (KS), Mike Rounds (SD) and Tim Scott (SC).
In his opening statement, the newly installed Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said, “Now for decades the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has been referred to by the media and, frankly, by most of us as the Banking Committee or simply Senate Banking. Perhaps that’s fitting, after all this committee has in recent years mostly looked out for Wall Street and the nation’s largest banks too often at a cost to consumers, almost always to the detriment of workers. The work of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has been too much about banks, not enough about housing, almost nothing at all about urban affairs. We’ve seen what happens with Wall Street with an assist from the Senate. When Wall Street runs things, stock market goes up, corporate profits soar, executive compensation explodes, and wages stagnate and the middle class shrinks. That Wall Street dominance, it ends today. We will instead work for an economy centered on the dignity of work, an economy that values work. We’ll give power and voice to those who have been denied a place in this economy, we will fight discrimination in housing, and structural racism in our banking code. From the black codes of more than a century ago to Jim Crow, from redlining to the Trump administration’s attempts to weaken fair housing enforcement. We’ll act to build a better, brighter, more equitable future out of that shameful past.”
He further said, “We know several things about housing. That without affordable homes and safe neighborhoods, people don’t live as long, their medical care is inadequate, their children attend struggling schools, they don’t have nearby grocery stores with nutritious food options. In short, housing is the gateway to opportunity, we all know that, and to building a middle-class life. Too many Americans though are locked out of it. This committee will focus on housing, perhaps more than the committee ever has…we know that people can’t afford housing if they don’t make a fair wage…and we will act – in housing, in helping banks assess risk and in transportation. You can’t talk about the dignity of work without talking about how people get to and from work and for millions of workers that means public transit and we can do that in this committee. Today and in all subsequent hearings, I will not refer to our 108-year-old committee as only the Senate Banking Committee. You’ll hear me say the Banking-Housing Committee, the Housing-Banking Committee, maybe even you’ll hear me say the Public Transit Committee.” A clip of his full opening remarks is available here.