Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Senate banking committee has voted to approve President Joe Biden's nomination of Marcia Fudge has head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The panel voted 17-7 Thursday to approve the nomination, which will now go to the full Senate.
Fudge, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, testified during her confirmation hearing that her experiences as former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, would help her to expand affordable housing opportunities and put policies in place that will help "the most vulnerable people in America."
She called the half-million homeless Americans counted in 2019 a "devastating statistic -- even before you consider the reality of what COVID-19 has done to exacerbate the crisis."
She also said her first priority as HUD secretary would be to help people who have sought extended eviction protections or are behind on mortgage payments.
Fudge promised to "work across the aisle" after she was criticized by Sen Tom Toomey, R-Pa., and other Republicans for saying after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that Republicans didn't care "even a little bit" about people of color.
The committee also voted 24-0 to approve the nomination of Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton economist, to head the Council of Economic Advisers.
Toomey on Thursday praised Rouse's service on the same council during the Obama administration and said she's "well qualified." Rouse would be the first Black American to head the council.