March 17, 2024

Biden indecision on filling key HUD vacancy prompts broader questions about priorities

Though Cabinet departures are a fairly common occurrence in any presidential administration, the planned exit of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge – and Joe Biden's hesitation to name a replacement, has prompted questions about White House priorities in the area of housing policy, as Politico reports.

It was earlier in March that Fudge declared her intention to leave the administration and while, as CBS News notes, deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will step into the role on an interim basis, it remains unclear whether a permanent replacement will be forthcoming.

Future unclear

As Politico explains, despite calls from housing advocates to fill the vacancy as soon as possible, Biden is reportedly considering doing just the opposite.

Though names of possible picks have been floated within the White House, the administration is wary of the lengthy nomination and confirmation process that would take place in a divided Senate so close to the general election in November.

A senior official in the administration confirmed the possibility to the outlet, saying, “We haven't ruled that out.”

“The plan is to work with the president to do that, recognizing where we are. So do not write that off at all,” the insider said.

Precarious time for a vacancy

Politico further noted that the Fudge vacancy comes at something of an inopportune moment for an administration that is already struggling with a housing cost crunch that is putting further pressure on an economy with which millions of Americans are dissatisfied.

Fox Business recently reported that in many parts of the country, home foreclosures are on the rise, and with the cost-of-living crisis continuing to pinch voters, a decision not to act when it comes to choosing someone to fill this key role could lead to a series of uncomfortable questions for the president.

Though foreclosure rates have not reached 2008 levels, borrower difficulties in the coming months could escalate, given rises in home prices, mortgage rates, and property tax assessments, and a perception among the electorate that housing is not a top priority could bring about negative electoral consequences for Biden.

Even so, Politico notes that the administration has yet to make overtures regarding the vacancy to Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH), whose panel holds jurisdiction over HUD.

Advocates speak out

Brown, for his part, has suggested that the timeline and the coming election should not impact whether a replacement nominee is selected, saying, “I don't think it's that late [in the year]. In most people's lives, if they're dealing with housing issues, eight months ain't that short.”

Thomas Silverstein of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights stated, “Housing unaffordability is one of the most pressing issues facing the country right now, and I think President Biden recognizes that. Having a Senate-confirmed secretary speaks to the administration's commitment to the issue and is critical to HUD's ability to advocate for itself in appropriations discussions,” but whether the commander in chief ultimately agrees is something that remains to be seen.

Don't Wait
We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:
Top stories
Get news from American Digest in your inbox.
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: American Digest, 3000 S. Hulen Street, Ste 124 #1064, Fort Worth, TX, 76109, US, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.