The Senate confirmed Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday.
The Democratic-led Senate was 66-34 to confirm Regan. Regan will be the first Black man to lead the EPA.
Senate was also 66-34 to confirm Fudge, who will be the first Black woman to lead the HUD in more than 40 years.
“Michael Regan is the kind of person who can help unite us in common purpose as we respond to the climate crisis we face, as well as to clean our air, clean our water and strive to make sure that we don’t leave some of our communities, some of our neighbors behind in our efforts to do so,” Sen. Tom Carper, chair of the Senate Environment committee, said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.
Regan previously served as North Carolina’s head environmental regulator — will help lead Biden’s efforts to address climate change and advocate for environmental justice.
“Our priorities for the environment are clear: we will restore the role of science and transparency at EPA. We will support the dedicated and talented career officials. We will move with a sense of urgency on climate change, and we will stand up for environmental justice and equity,” he said during his nomination hearing last month.
Fudge, a seasoned lawmaker and congresswoman from Ohio, said part of her priorities for HUD “will require us to end discriminatory practices in the housing market, and ensure that our fair housing rules are doing what they are supposed to do: opening the door for families, especially families of color who have been systematically kept out in the cold across generations, to buy homes and punch their ticket to the middle class.”
In the past, Fudge has taken issue with the fact that the top position at HUD was a tokenistic gesture. “As this country becomes more and more diverse, we’re going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me fit in. You know, it’s always ‘we want to put the Black person in labor or HUD,'” she told Politico in November.
Evidently, Fudge could not turn down the opportunity to make a positive difference.
Congratulations to them both.