What they are saying about Biden’s new picks, including Rice, Fudge, Vilsack, McDonough and Tai

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced a new batch of key members of his administration on Thursday, including Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative; and Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge 
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge

“This diverse and accomplished team will work around the clock to deliver immediate relief to the American people — including working families, veterans, farmers and producers, and everyone fighting for their place in the middle class,” the Biden transition team said in a statement.

Katherine Tai 
Katherine Tai

The nominations and appointments have triggered reactions from all over the country with a broad chorus of lawmakers, veterans and advocates, and experts and leaders praising them.

Susan Rice 
Susan Rice

Below is what many have so far said about the new picks.

PRAISE FOR REP. MARCIA FUDGE, NOMINATED AS SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Tom Vilsack 
Tom Vilsack
Julián Castro, Former HUD Secretary
We face an evictions and homelessness crisis, on top of a persistent housing affordability crisis.On this issue, building back better isn’t a choice—it’s a must. Having worked on these issues with @RepMarciaFudge, I know she’ll do a great job at HUD. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Senator Sherrod Brown, Ranking Democrat, Senate Banking Committee
“Representative Fudge is a talented lawyer, successful mayor, and effective legislator. She has shown time and time again, that there is nothing she can’t accomplish.  I am confident that as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development she will work to address this public health crisis and our affordable housing crisis,  and make our housing system more equitable. She is the right choice for this moment, will make Ohio proud, and take on systemic racism in our housing system so that the dream of homeownership is available to everyone, no matter who they are, where they live, or what kind of work they do.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Representative Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of House Financial Services Committee
“In nominating Representative Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, President-Elect Joe Biden has selected a seasoned legislator who is ready to address the challenges that lie ahead….I am confident that in this new role, Representative Fudge will make racial equity a priority from day one, work to restore fairness to our housing system, and promote access to safe, accessible, and affordable housing.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Representative Bennie Thompson
@RepMarciaFudge “has demonstrated on the local level as well as in Congress that she is up for the task…I can see no better person in a cabinet position than Marcia Fudge.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Congressional Black Caucus
We celebrate the appointment of the third CBC Member to serve this country in the Biden-Harris Administration. The appointment of former CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is an historic selection, as Congresswoman Fudge will be the first African-American woman to lead the department in decades, and only the second in our nation’s history. “For decades, Congresswoman Fudge has served the people of Ohio with passion and tenacity, first as mayor of Warrensville Heights and then as a Member of Congress representing Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. During her time in Congress, Congresswoman Fudge emerged as a champion for our most vulnerable communities. As Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations, Congresswoman Fudge led the charge to defend hungry families across the country from cruel and unnecessary cuts to SNAP and other vital programs and services. We are relieved knowing that the same determination she brought to those battles will be brought to tackle one of the biggest looming threats facing Americans during this economic crisis: evictions and housing insecurity. “We applaud President-elect Biden on this historic nomination and look forward to working collaboratively with his administration to provide relief to families in need. 

Representative Joyce Beatty, Incoming Congressional Black Caucus Chair
“Congratulations to my dear friend, fellow Ohioan and Delta Soror, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, on her historic nomination as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Congresswoman Fudge has dedicated her life to advocating for and advancing the needs of our most vulnerable, at-risk Americans, and I am confident she will keep them front and center in everything that she does to expand safe, affordable housing for all Americans. As the incoming CBC Chair, I look forward to working with her hand-in-hand to move our nation forward and build back better.”

Governor Mike DeWine 
Governor Mike DeWine starts the briefing by congratulating Rep. Fudge on this new position “It’s always a good thing to have an Ohioan in the cabinet”. @nbc4i [Tweet via @ARobbinsTV, 12/10/20]
National Urban League
We applaud President-elect #JoeBiden’s decision to name @RepMarciaFudge to lead #HUD! Rep. Fudge is a dynamic leader “who has courage and passion for the work of HUD and who has the gravitas to be a policymaker at the highest levels.” — @MARCMORIAL  [Tweet, 12/8/20]
League of Conservation Voters
“Congresswoman Fudge is a strong advocate for environmental justice. Her leadership of HUD will be crucial in building healthier, more climate-resilient communities and promoting safe, affordable, and energy-efficient housing.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association.@RepMarciaFudge will make an excellent HUD Secretary. She’ll work to ensure the 1.5 million homeless students—who are disproportionately youth of color or are LGBTQ—have a roof over their heads and that we support families who have lost their home because of COVID. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Quinton Lucas, Mayor of Kansas CityThis is outstanding news for HUD and Kansas City. As we ensure safe housing for tenants, the development of affordable and accessible housing in our community, and more resources for urban redevelopment, a great partner like Rep. Marcia Fudge will be vital. Great stuff! [Tweet, 12/8/20]
National Leased Housing Association“Representative Fudge has been a champion of affordable housing, and her experience as a former mayor and in Congress will be critically important during this time when so many families are enduring economic stress during the coronavirus pandemic,” NLHA Executive Director Denise Muha said. “NLHA stands ready to provide advice on how to best preserve and create housing opportunities for low-income families.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
PRAISE FOR TOM VILSACK, NOMINATED AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Democrat on Senate Committee on Agriculture
“Secretary Vilsack has the experience, resolve, and vision that is needed to usher in a new era at USDA. I worked closely with him during the Obama Administration and saw first-hand the transformation he led at the Department to reinvigorate rural communities, improve school meals, and address the climate crisis. I look forward to working with him as he hits the ground running on Day One.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Senator Chuck Grassley Iowan Tom Vilsack has 8 yrs of experience leading the Dept of Agriculture. He also understands the importance of preserving the family farm & the significance of the biofuels industry [Tweet, 12/9/20]
Chef José AndrésWe have a hunger crisis in America & around the world. Ending it will take everyone in Washington working with everyone outside Washington. Food has the power to heal if we get serious and work together. I support Joe Biden, Kamala Harris & Tom Vilsack because they know that too. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
United Food and Commercial Workers“Americans need @USDA to meet this moment with bold action to invest in essential workers across the food supply chain from meatpacking plants to grocery stores. As the union for America’s frontline food workers, UFCW knows Tom Vilsack is ready to lead.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Environmental Defense FundPresident-elect Joe Biden just nominated a veteran leader for Agriculture Secretary in Tom Vilsack — a huge advantage for rebuilding a more resilient farm economy and driving fast action on climate. [Statement, 12/9/20]
Representative Adriano Espaillat Congratulations to @RepMarciaFudge & Tom Vilsack on their nominations to lead @HUDgov & the Agriculture Depts! Their collective dedications to public service & immeasurable expertise make them excellent choices to lead & help us #BuildBackBetter ?? [Tweet, 12/10/20Representative Cindy Axne
Tom Vilsack’s experience speaks for itself – and as someone whose first job at the State of Iowa was in the Vilsack Administration, I’ve seen his commitment to good government and support for the people he serves up close. [Twitter Thread, 12/9/20]
Sister Simone Campbell, Leader of Nuns on the Bus
Such an important nominee for #BuildBackBetter Was good for child nutrition and farm bill…both coming up for reauthorization. Bringing rural and urban reality together! Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture [Tweet, 12/10/20]
National Farmers Union
“Between pandemic recovery, the imminent threat of climate change, rampant corporate power, and chronic overproduction, family farmers and ranchers have significant challenges ahead of them in the next several years – and they need a strong Secretary of Agriculture behind them to make it through in one piece. After eight years leading USDA, Tom Vilsack has the necessary qualifications and experience to steer the agency through these turbulent times.” [Statement, 12/8/20]
Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services 
“Tom Vilsack knows that agriculture producers are a part of addressing our global climate crisis. I look forward to working with him to ensure American farmers are competitive and successful in their work to feed our nation and the world, while encouraging sustainability.” [Tweet, 12/9/20]

PRAISE FOR DENIS MCDONOUGH, NOMINATED FOR SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Bob McDonald, Former VA Secretary “I have known Denis since 2014 when I was Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  Since then we have become close friends.  His leadership and support as then White House Chief of Staff was very helpful to what we achieved while I was Secretary. He is a crisis-tested leader of character with great knowledge, skills, snd experience in using the levers of government. He is also an extremely empathetic leader, especially for service members and their families. While working in the White House he visited front line troops in the Middle East and often visited Walter Reed Medical Center. I think he will be a terrific Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I will do all I can to support him and VA.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
David Shulkin, Former VA Secretary “@DenisMcDonough will be the next #SecVA. He is an experienced leader who has helped #DeptVA through its’ toughest days in 2014 and cares deeply about #veterans. He will do a great job.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee
“Now more than ever, veterans and their families need a strong leader who will prioritize delivering timely and quality health care and benefits over making political points. Denis McDonough has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to public service and a deep understanding that taking care of our veterans is a cost of war. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss his vision for the future of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the critical services it provides to our nation’s veterans and their families.” [12/10/20]
Representative Mark Takano, Chairman of House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs “I want to congratulate Secretary-designate Denis McDonough– President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of VA. He has a demonstrated record of solving problems. I am confident that he understands the importance of healthcare and veterans policy, values the voices of VSOs, and unlike the current Secretary, will actively work with Congress to support our veterans– especially through the COVID-19 pandemic. I will work with him to restore the value of VA’s workforce and recognize the specific needs of our increasingly diverse veteran population and employees of VA. Cultural change starts at the top, and we need to make sure VA will be ready to care for more women, LGBTQ, Black, Asian, and Hispanic veterans than ever before. I look forward to partnering with Secretary-designate McDonough and the incoming Biden Administration to continue getting results for our veterans.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Patrick Murphy
I personally worked with @DenisMcDonough under President Obama. He’s a good man & cares deeply about meeting the challenges the VA faces today. He’ll be a steady hand at the wheel in meeting our nation’s most sacred obligation to care for those who wore the uniform @Transition46 [Tweet, 12/10/20]
VoteVets
“Denis McDonough is just what the VA needs right now, and we’re absolutely enthusiastic about President-elect Biden’s choice. We call on the Senate to swiftly confirm him, so veterans can have an agency that works for them, again.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Bonnie Carroll, President & Founder of TAPS
“America needs the leadership of  @DenisMcDonough  for our nation’s veterans, families, caregivers and survivors at  @DeptVetAffairs . As a  @USArmy  widow, a  @USAFReserve  retiree, and the leader of  @TAPSorg , I share my support for this empathetic, engaging & experienced leader.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Pete Buttigieg
Denis McDonough has the heart for veterans, and the mind for management, that the VA will need in these years to better keep the promise that America owes to those who have served. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Admiral (retired) Sandy Winnefeld, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
“I am delighted President-elect Biden has nominated Denis McDonough to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The VA needs at its helm someone with deep empathy for Veterans and their families, who is a virtuoso in leading a complex organization, who has a clear understanding of both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government, and who will work closely with the broader Veterans community in this important and challenging role.  Denis is a great choice and should be immediately confirmed—he will spare no effort in delivering the best possible service to those who have served our Nation so well.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Retired U.S. Army General Martin E. Dempsey; 18th Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
“Media reports that Denis McDonough will be nominated as the next Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Great choice. I know him to be a champion for our military and their families. A leader with a warrior’s heart and a servant’s soul. Veterans deserve his kind of talent and dedication.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
John Kirby, retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
The nomination of @DenisMcDonough as next VA Sec’y is great news. I know firsthand his abiding respect for those who serve, as well as their families. And I know what an inclusive, able & thoughtful leader he is. I say this not only as his friend, but as a veteran myself.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Andy Kim
“No one works harder than Denis McDonough and I am grateful that he will take on the vital mission of delivering the care and support that our veterans deserve. I look forward to working alongside him to be a vocal advocate for America’s veterans.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Conor Lamb
“I met @DenisMcDonough in 2018, & he talked about his deep respect for veterans, the sacred promise we have to keep to everyone who serves, & the challenges we face in doing so. He knows how to get things done, & I think he’ll do a great job for veterans as our next VA Secretary” [Tweet, 12/10/20]

PRAISE FOR KATHERINE TAI, NOMINATED FOR UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

Senator Sherrod Brown, Ranking Democrat, Senate Banking Committee
“Katherine Tai is the most qualified candidate for USTR, and her nomination would reflect President-elect Biden’s commitment to the Dignity of Work. Ms. Tai played a critical role in securing real improvements for workers in the USMCA agreement last year.” [Tweet, 12/9/20]
Senator Ron Wyden, Ranking Democrat, Senate Finance Committee
“‘Ms. Tai has the experience she needs to succeed as USTR, and her record of getting wins for American workers demonstrates she knows how to champion the values that matter to U.S. families,’ Wyden said. ‘She worked closely with me and my staff to craft the strongest ever protections for American workers in a trade agreement, and pass them into law with bipartisan support.’” [Statement, 12/9/20]
Senator Tom Carper
“Naming Katherine Tai as our country’s top trade negotiator would be an excellent call. In USMCA, she helped pass the strongest labor and environmental enforcement provisions to date, and she has the experience to ensure our trade policies are once again consistent, not chaotic. Not only would Tai be the first woman of color to serve as USTR, but her previous role at USTR as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement would prove valuable as the Biden Administration confronts China’s unfair trade practices. Tai would be a smart choice with broad support.” [Tweet Thread, 12/9/20]
Representative Richard Neal (MA-1), Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means
“I cannot speak highly enough of Katherine Tai. Her time with Ways and Means is filled with many accomplishments, but none greater than the key role she played behind the scenes in our successful work to improve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and secure widespread support for its passage. Elected officials across the political spectrum, labor leaders, and the business community all trust Katherine, and for good reason. Her exceptional experience and expertise are rivaled only by her understated grit and sterling character. While I am very sad to see Katherine leave Ways and Means, she is absolutely the best choice for this critical position and I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new capacity. As the United States seeks to repair strained relationships with our partners around the world and address increasingly perilous challenges from China, Katherine will be an honorable and effective representative for this nation, our people, and our interests.” [Statement, 12/20/20]
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
“From our work together on Ways and Means, I have seen firsthand Ms. Tai’s skill and experience with trade deals and have been impressed by her work on the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Agreement, as well as her vast knowledge of the current and coming trade challenges. Through her work as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement at USTR, Ms. Tai has also demonstrated her commitment to enforcing trade deals that work for the United States…Katherine’s nomination is also historic. She would be the first Asian American and the first woman of color to serve in this role, breaking barriers and clearing the way for others to follow.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means
“Having had the privilege of working closely with Katherine Tai for years, I am delighted by the news of her expected nomination,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Katherine is a brilliant, forward-looking, and strategic thinker. She will bring both thoughtful and aggressive leadership that will build on her predecessor’s relationship with Congress. I’m confident she will advocate for trade policies guided by protecting American workers and our environment. I know the Ways and Means Committee will dearly miss Katherine’s expertise, but I take solace knowing she’s obligated to come back at least once each year to brief us on the Administration’s trade policy agenda. Katherine Tai’s selection is an outstanding nomination by President-elect Biden and gives me great confidence for American trade policy in 2021. I also wish Ambassador Lighthizer well.” [Statement, 12/09/20]
Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means
“I am so proud to see Katherine Tai nominated as the next @USTradeRep. She is a dedicated and exceptional public servant, who has been an invaluable asset to @WaysMeansCmte. Her expertise and knowledge ensure she’ll be ready on Day One to represent us around the world.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
“President-elect @JoeBiden is living up to his word to forge a bold new direction, and with Tai as the U.S. trade representative, we will be strongly positioned to advance a fair trade agenda that makes the world safer and workers stronger.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Lonnie Stephenson, IBEW President
“As president of the largest union of electrical workers in North America, trade policy is vital to the livelihoods of my members and their families. That is why I’m supportive of Katherine Tai as the next United States Trade Representative. She possesses deep policy expertise and a commitment to trade policies that support good jobs and fair trade, making her the best candidate for the job.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Jim Hoffa, General President, Teamsters
“In these times, our nation requires a steady and experienced hand to guide trade policy, particularly with countries which we have a sometimes contentious relationship. That is why the Teamsters are delighted that President-elect Biden has chosen Katherine Tai to serve in this capacity…Having a leader who will stand up for workers as head of USTR is essential. The Teamsters are confident that Katherine Tai is that person.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Simon Lester, CATO Institute “Some brief thoughts on the choice of Katherine Tai as the next U.S. Trade Rep.: A little while ago, I said we needed someone who is ‘knowledgeable, pragmatic, non-ideological, familiar with both the key Congressional players and foreign government officials, and not closely tied to special interests’ for this position.  2/ From what I can tell, Tai meets these criteria pretty well and seems like a good choice for the job. 3/” [Tweet, 12/9/20]
Aimee Allison, She The People
“This is awesome, cheering for this appointment. Our trade policy will need a major reset and Katherine Tai is ready to lead us.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Katherine Tai has been a valued member of our NAPABA community, and we are thrilled that President-elect Biden has nominated her to be U.S. Trade Representative,’ said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. ‘Her background is a story that many AAPIs can relate to—like many of us, Katherine is the daughter of immigrants who came to this country to embark on a better life. 

Wendy Cutler, VP of Asia Society
“Very exciting to hear about nomination of #Katherine Tai as USTR.  She not only brings trade expertise to the job, but an ability to problem solve with all sides of the political spectrum.  Those skills will be needed as we navigate a post-Trump trade policy.” [Tweet, 12/9/20]

PRAISE FOR AMB. SUSAN RICE, APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF THE WHITE HOUSE DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL

Senator Michael Bennet
“President-elect Biden has made an excellent choice for the Domestic Policy Council. Susan Rice is one of the most experienced, thoughtful, and tenacious people I know. She cares deeply about creating opportunity for the next generation of Americans.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Ro Khanna
“I have known @AmbassadorRice for many years and believe she has the integrity, experience and commitment to public service to make an impact. I look forward to working w/ her on expanding digital access to communities left behind and pushing for issues of racial & economic equity” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester
“.@AmbassadorRice is a remarkable leader and public servant. She’ll serve as an invaluable source of wise counsel for @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris in the White House.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Valerie Jarrett“Outstanding choice!!!  ⁦ @AmbassadorRice ⁩ is a brilliant and dedicated leader committed to public service with a wealth of experience.  I know she will work tenaciously & creatively to fulfill the ⁦ @JoeBiden⁩ commitment to #BuildBackBetter.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Samantha Power, Former United States Ambassador to the UN
“If you’ve never seen @AmbassadorRice fighting for what she believes in, it’s a sight to behold. Drawing on her vast experience, she will be a tireless fighter for Americans, ensuring govt agencies work together to end #COVID, build back better, expand health care & much more. 3/3” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Sylvia Burwell, Former HHS Secretary 
“Congratulations to my friend and @AmericanU colleague @AmbassadorRice! She will be a great leader of the Domestic Policy Council.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund President 
“Congratulations to @AmbassadorRice on this important appointment!” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance
“Congratulations to @AmbassadorRice on this important appointment! We’ve got a lot of work to do to create good jobs & raise wages, support caregivers & families, strengthen our democracy & make real progress together. Let’s do it!” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
“We are elated that @JoeBiden will tap gun safety champion Susan Rice as White House Domestic Policy Council Director. @AmbassadorRice has been outspoken in addressing gun violence as the national security issue and public health crisis that it is.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Shannon Watt, Moms Demand Action
“Ambassador Susan Rice will bring a depth of experience and knowledge to the DPC. This is a fantastic choice! Eager to get to work with @AmbassadorRice on gun policy…” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
United State of Women
“Susan Rice has been breaking through barriers and fighting for a better world for decades. We are SO excited for @AmbassadorRice to be the White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council!”  [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Cecile Richards, Supermajority
Love that ⁦@AmbassadorRice⁩ will head the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. She is a strategic, effective leader committed to economic and racial justice. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Black Women’s Roundtable 
“Congratulations @AmbassadorRice on a historic nomination as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council! #BlackWomenLead #PoweroftheSisterVote” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Aimee Allison, She The People
“Congratulations @AmbassadorRice on this key appointment. Very excited for your leadership on domestic issues.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Julián Castro, Former HUD Secretary
We face an evictions and homelessness crisis, on top of a persistent housing affordability crisis.On this issue, building back better isn’t a choice—it’s a must. Having worked on these issues with @RepMarciaFudge, I know she’ll do a great job at HUD. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Senator Sherrod Brown, Ranking Democrat, Senate Banking Committee
“Representative Fudge is a talented lawyer, successful mayor, and effective legislator. She has shown time and time again, that there is nothing she can’t accomplish.  I am confident that as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development she will work to address this public health crisis and our affordable housing crisis,  and make our housing system more equitable. She is the right choice for this moment, will make Ohio proud, and take on systemic racism in our housing system so that the dream of homeownership is available to everyone, no matter who they are, where they live, or what kind of work they do.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Representative Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of House Financial Services Committee
“In nominating Representative Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, President-Elect Joe Biden has selected a seasoned legislator who is ready to address the challenges that lie ahead….I am confident that in this new role, Representative Fudge will make racial equity a priority from day one, work to restore fairness to our housing system, and promote access to safe, accessible, and affordable housing.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Representative Bennie Thompson
@RepMarciaFudge “has demonstrated on the local level as well as in Congress that she is up for the task…I can see no better person in a cabinet position than Marcia Fudge.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Congressional Black Caucus
We celebrate the appointment of the third CBC Member to serve this country in the Biden-Harris Administration. The appointment of former CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is an historic selection, as Congresswoman Fudge will be the first African-American woman to lead the department in decades, and only the second in our nation’s history. “For decades, Congresswoman Fudge has served the people of Ohio with passion and tenacity, first as mayor of Warrensville Heights and then as a Member of Congress representing Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. During her time in Congress, Congresswoman Fudge emerged as a champion for our most vulnerable communities. As Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations, Congresswoman Fudge led the charge to defend hungry families across the country from cruel and unnecessary cuts to SNAP and other vital programs and services. We are relieved knowing that the same determination she brought to those battles will be brought to tackle one of the biggest looming threats facing Americans during this economic crisis: evictions and housing insecurity. “We applaud President-elect Biden on this historic nomination and look forward to working collaboratively with his administration to provide relief to families in need. 

Representative Joyce Beatty, Incoming Congressional Black Caucus Chair
“Congratulations to my dear friend, fellow Ohioan and Delta Soror, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, on her historic nomination as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Congresswoman Fudge has dedicated her life to advocating for and advancing the needs of our most vulnerable, at-risk Americans, and I am confident she will keep them front and center in everything that she does to expand safe, affordable housing for all Americans. As the incoming CBC Chair, I look forward to working with her hand-in-hand to move our nation forward and build back better.”

Governor Mike DeWine 
Governor Mike DeWine starts the briefing by congratulating Rep. Fudge on this new position “It’s always a good thing to have an Ohioan in the cabinet”. @nbc4i [Tweet via @ARobbinsTV, 12/10/20]
National Urban League
We applaud President-elect #JoeBiden’s decision to name @RepMarciaFudge to lead #HUD! Rep. Fudge is a dynamic leader “who has courage and passion for the work of HUD and who has the gravitas to be a policymaker at the highest levels.” — @MARCMORIAL  [Tweet, 12/8/20]
League of Conservation Voters
“Congresswoman Fudge is a strong advocate for environmental justice. Her leadership of HUD will be crucial in building healthier, more climate-resilient communities and promoting safe, affordable, and energy-efficient housing.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association.@RepMarciaFudge will make an excellent HUD Secretary. She’ll work to ensure the 1.5 million homeless students—who are disproportionately youth of color or are LGBTQ—have a roof over their heads and that we support families who have lost their home because of COVID. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Quinton Lucas, Mayor of Kansas CityThis is outstanding news for HUD and Kansas City. As we ensure safe housing for tenants, the development of affordable and accessible housing in our community, and more resources for urban redevelopment, a great partner like Rep. Marcia Fudge will be vital. Great stuff! [Tweet, 12/8/20]
National Leased Housing Association“Representative Fudge has been a champion of affordable housing, and her experience as a former mayor and in Congress will be critically important during this time when so many families are enduring economic stress during the coronavirus pandemic,” NLHA Executive Director Denise Muha said. “NLHA stands ready to provide advice on how to best preserve and create housing opportunities for low-income families.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
PRAISE FOR TOM VILSACK, NOMINATED AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Democrat on Senate Committee on Agriculture
“Secretary Vilsack has the experience, resolve, and vision that is needed to usher in a new era at USDA. I worked closely with him during the Obama Administration and saw first-hand the transformation he led at the Department to reinvigorate rural communities, improve school meals, and address the climate crisis. I look forward to working with him as he hits the ground running on Day One.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Senator Chuck Grassley Iowan Tom Vilsack has 8 yrs of experience leading the Dept of Agriculture. He also understands the importance of preserving the family farm & the significance of the biofuels industry [Tweet, 12/9/20]
Chef José AndrésWe have a hunger crisis in America & around the world. Ending it will take everyone in Washington working with everyone outside Washington. Food has the power to heal if we get serious and work together. I support Joe Biden, Kamala Harris & Tom Vilsack because they know that too. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
United Food and Commercial Workers“Americans need @USDA to meet this moment with bold action to invest in essential workers across the food supply chain from meatpacking plants to grocery stores. As the union for America’s frontline food workers, UFCW knows Tom Vilsack is ready to lead.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Environmental Defense FundPresident-elect Joe Biden just nominated a veteran leader for Agriculture Secretary in Tom Vilsack — a huge advantage for rebuilding a more resilient farm economy and driving fast action on climate. [Statement, 12/9/20]
Representative Adriano Espaillat Congratulations to @RepMarciaFudge & Tom Vilsack on their nominations to lead @HUDgov & the Agriculture Depts! Their collective dedications to public service & immeasurable expertise make them excellent choices to lead & help us #BuildBackBetter ?? [Tweet, 12/10/20Representative Cindy Axne
Tom Vilsack’s experience speaks for itself – and as someone whose first job at the State of Iowa was in the Vilsack Administration, I’ve seen his commitment to good government and support for the people he serves up close. [Twitter Thread, 12/9/20]
Sister Simone Campbell, Leader of Nuns on the Bus
Such an important nominee for #BuildBackBetter Was good for child nutrition and farm bill…both coming up for reauthorization. Bringing rural and urban reality together! Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture [Tweet, 12/10/20]
National Farmers Union
“Between pandemic recovery, the imminent threat of climate change, rampant corporate power, and chronic overproduction, family farmers and ranchers have significant challenges ahead of them in the next several years – and they need a strong Secretary of Agriculture behind them to make it through in one piece. After eight years leading USDA, Tom Vilsack has the necessary qualifications and experience to steer the agency through these turbulent times.” [Statement, 12/8/20]
Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services 
“Tom Vilsack knows that agriculture producers are a part of addressing our global climate crisis. I look forward to working with him to ensure American farmers are competitive and successful in their work to feed our nation and the world, while encouraging sustainability.” [Tweet, 12/9/20]

PRAISE FOR DENIS MCDONOUGH, NOMINATED FOR SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Bob McDonald, Former VA Secretary “I have known Denis since 2014 when I was Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  Since then we have become close friends.  His leadership and support as then White House Chief of Staff was very helpful to what we achieved while I was Secretary. He is a crisis-tested leader of character with great knowledge, skills, snd experience in using the levers of government. He is also an extremely empathetic leader, especially for service members and their families. While working in the White House he visited front line troops in the Middle East and often visited Walter Reed Medical Center. I think he will be a terrific Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I will do all I can to support him and VA.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
David Shulkin, Former VA Secretary “@DenisMcDonough will be the next #SecVA. He is an experienced leader who has helped #DeptVA through its’ toughest days in 2014 and cares deeply about #veterans. He will do a great job.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee
“Now more than ever, veterans and their families need a strong leader who will prioritize delivering timely and quality health care and benefits over making political points. Denis McDonough has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to public service and a deep understanding that taking care of our veterans is a cost of war. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss his vision for the future of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the critical services it provides to our nation’s veterans and their families.” [12/10/20]
Representative Mark Takano, Chairman of House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs “I want to congratulate Secretary-designate Denis McDonough– President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of VA. He has a demonstrated record of solving problems. I am confident that he understands the importance of healthcare and veterans policy, values the voices of VSOs, and unlike the current Secretary, will actively work with Congress to support our veterans– especially through the COVID-19 pandemic. I will work with him to restore the value of VA’s workforce and recognize the specific needs of our increasingly diverse veteran population and employees of VA. Cultural change starts at the top, and we need to make sure VA will be ready to care for more women, LGBTQ, Black, Asian, and Hispanic veterans than ever before. I look forward to partnering with Secretary-designate McDonough and the incoming Biden Administration to continue getting results for our veterans.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Patrick Murphy
I personally worked with @DenisMcDonough under President Obama. He’s a good man & cares deeply about meeting the challenges the VA faces today. He’ll be a steady hand at the wheel in meeting our nation’s most sacred obligation to care for those who wore the uniform @Transition46 [Tweet, 12/10/20]
VoteVets
“Denis McDonough is just what the VA needs right now, and we’re absolutely enthusiastic about President-elect Biden’s choice. We call on the Senate to swiftly confirm him, so veterans can have an agency that works for them, again.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Bonnie Carroll, President & Founder of TAPS
“America needs the leadership of  @DenisMcDonough  for our nation’s veterans, families, caregivers and survivors at  @DeptVetAffairs . As a  @USArmy  widow, a  @USAFReserve  retiree, and the leader of  @TAPSorg , I share my support for this empathetic, engaging & experienced leader.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Pete Buttigieg
Denis McDonough has the heart for veterans, and the mind for management, that the VA will need in these years to better keep the promise that America owes to those who have served. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Admiral (retired) Sandy Winnefeld, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
“I am delighted President-elect Biden has nominated Denis McDonough to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The VA needs at its helm someone with deep empathy for Veterans and their families, who is a virtuoso in leading a complex organization, who has a clear understanding of both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government, and who will work closely with the broader Veterans community in this important and challenging role.  Denis is a great choice and should be immediately confirmed—he will spare no effort in delivering the best possible service to those who have served our Nation so well.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Retired U.S. Army General Martin E. Dempsey; 18th Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
“Media reports that Denis McDonough will be nominated as the next Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Great choice. I know him to be a champion for our military and their families. A leader with a warrior’s heart and a servant’s soul. Veterans deserve his kind of talent and dedication.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
John Kirby, retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
The nomination of @DenisMcDonough as next VA Sec’y is great news. I know firsthand his abiding respect for those who serve, as well as their families. And I know what an inclusive, able & thoughtful leader he is. I say this not only as his friend, but as a veteran myself.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Andy Kim
“No one works harder than Denis McDonough and I am grateful that he will take on the vital mission of delivering the care and support that our veterans deserve. I look forward to working alongside him to be a vocal advocate for America’s veterans.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Conor Lamb
“I met @DenisMcDonough in 2018, & he talked about his deep respect for veterans, the sacred promise we have to keep to everyone who serves, & the challenges we face in doing so. He knows how to get things done, & I think he’ll do a great job for veterans as our next VA Secretary” [Tweet, 12/10/20]

PRAISE FOR KATHERINE TAI, NOMINATED FOR UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

Senator Sherrod Brown, Ranking Democrat, Senate Banking Committee
“Katherine Tai is the most qualified candidate for USTR, and her nomination would reflect President-elect Biden’s commitment to the Dignity of Work. Ms. Tai played a critical role in securing real improvements for workers in the USMCA agreement last year.” [Tweet, 12/9/20]
Senator Ron Wyden, Ranking Democrat, Senate Finance Committee
“‘Ms. Tai has the experience she needs to succeed as USTR, and her record of getting wins for American workers demonstrates she knows how to champion the values that matter to U.S. families,’ Wyden said. ‘She worked closely with me and my staff to craft the strongest ever protections for American workers in a trade agreement, and pass them into law with bipartisan support.’” [Statement, 12/9/20]
Senator Tom Carper
“Naming Katherine Tai as our country’s top trade negotiator would be an excellent call. In USMCA, she helped pass the strongest labor and environmental enforcement provisions to date, and she has the experience to ensure our trade policies are once again consistent, not chaotic. Not only would Tai be the first woman of color to serve as USTR, but her previous role at USTR as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement would prove valuable as the Biden Administration confronts China’s unfair trade practices. Tai would be a smart choice with broad support.” [Tweet Thread, 12/9/20]
Representative Richard Neal (MA-1), Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means
“I cannot speak highly enough of Katherine Tai. Her time with Ways and Means is filled with many accomplishments, but none greater than the key role she played behind the scenes in our successful work to improve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and secure widespread support for its passage. Elected officials across the political spectrum, labor leaders, and the business community all trust Katherine, and for good reason. Her exceptional experience and expertise are rivaled only by her understated grit and sterling character. While I am very sad to see Katherine leave Ways and Means, she is absolutely the best choice for this critical position and I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new capacity. As the United States seeks to repair strained relationships with our partners around the world and address increasingly perilous challenges from China, Katherine will be an honorable and effective representative for this nation, our people, and our interests.” [Statement, 12/20/20]
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
“From our work together on Ways and Means, I have seen firsthand Ms. Tai’s skill and experience with trade deals and have been impressed by her work on the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Agreement, as well as her vast knowledge of the current and coming trade challenges. Through her work as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement at USTR, Ms. Tai has also demonstrated her commitment to enforcing trade deals that work for the United States…Katherine’s nomination is also historic. She would be the first Asian American and the first woman of color to serve in this role, breaking barriers and clearing the way for others to follow.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means
“Having had the privilege of working closely with Katherine Tai for years, I am delighted by the news of her expected nomination,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Katherine is a brilliant, forward-looking, and strategic thinker. She will bring both thoughtful and aggressive leadership that will build on her predecessor’s relationship with Congress. I’m confident she will advocate for trade policies guided by protecting American workers and our environment. I know the Ways and Means Committee will dearly miss Katherine’s expertise, but I take solace knowing she’s obligated to come back at least once each year to brief us on the Administration’s trade policy agenda. Katherine Tai’s selection is an outstanding nomination by President-elect Biden and gives me great confidence for American trade policy in 2021. I also wish Ambassador Lighthizer well.” [Statement, 12/09/20]
Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means
“I am so proud to see Katherine Tai nominated as the next @USTradeRep. She is a dedicated and exceptional public servant, who has been an invaluable asset to @WaysMeansCmte. Her expertise and knowledge ensure she’ll be ready on Day One to represent us around the world.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
“President-elect @JoeBiden is living up to his word to forge a bold new direction, and with Tai as the U.S. trade representative, we will be strongly positioned to advance a fair trade agenda that makes the world safer and workers stronger.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Lonnie Stephenson, IBEW President
“As president of the largest union of electrical workers in North America, trade policy is vital to the livelihoods of my members and their families. That is why I’m supportive of Katherine Tai as the next United States Trade Representative. She possesses deep policy expertise and a commitment to trade policies that support good jobs and fair trade, making her the best candidate for the job.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Jim Hoffa, General President, Teamsters
“In these times, our nation requires a steady and experienced hand to guide trade policy, particularly with countries which we have a sometimes contentious relationship. That is why the Teamsters are delighted that President-elect Biden has chosen Katherine Tai to serve in this capacity…Having a leader who will stand up for workers as head of USTR is essential. The Teamsters are confident that Katherine Tai is that person.” [Statement, 12/10/20]
Simon Lester, CATO Institute “Some brief thoughts on the choice of Katherine Tai as the next U.S. Trade Rep.: A little while ago, I said we needed someone who is ‘knowledgeable, pragmatic, non-ideological, familiar with both the key Congressional players and foreign government officials, and not closely tied to special interests’ for this position.  2/ From what I can tell, Tai meets these criteria pretty well and seems like a good choice for the job. 3/” [Tweet, 12/9/20]
Aimee Allison, She The People
“This is awesome, cheering for this appointment. Our trade policy will need a major reset and Katherine Tai is ready to lead us.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Katherine Tai has been a valued member of our NAPABA community, and we are thrilled that President-elect Biden has nominated her to be U.S. Trade Representative,’ said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. ‘Her background is a story that many AAPIs can relate to—like many of us, Katherine is the daughter of immigrants who came to this country to embark on a better life. 

Wendy Cutler, VP of Asia Society
“Very exciting to hear about nomination of #Katherine Tai as USTR.  She not only brings trade expertise to the job, but an ability to problem solve with all sides of the political spectrum.  Those skills will be needed as we navigate a post-Trump trade policy.” [Tweet, 12/9/20]

PRAISE FOR AMB. SUSAN RICE, APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF THE WHITE HOUSE DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL

Senator Michael Bennet
“President-elect Biden has made an excellent choice for the Domestic Policy Council. Susan Rice is one of the most experienced, thoughtful, and tenacious people I know. She cares deeply about creating opportunity for the next generation of Americans.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Ro Khanna
“I have known @AmbassadorRice for many years and believe she has the integrity, experience and commitment to public service to make an impact. I look forward to working w/ her on expanding digital access to communities left behind and pushing for issues of racial & economic equity” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester
“.@AmbassadorRice is a remarkable leader and public servant. She’ll serve as an invaluable source of wise counsel for @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris in the White House.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Valerie Jarrett“Outstanding choice!!!  ⁦ @AmbassadorRice ⁩ is a brilliant and dedicated leader committed to public service with a wealth of experience.  I know she will work tenaciously & creatively to fulfill the ⁦ @JoeBiden⁩ commitment to #BuildBackBetter.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Samantha Power, Former United States Ambassador to the UN
“If you’ve never seen @AmbassadorRice fighting for what she believes in, it’s a sight to behold. Drawing on her vast experience, she will be a tireless fighter for Americans, ensuring govt agencies work together to end #COVID, build back better, expand health care & much more. 3/3” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Sylvia Burwell, Former HHS Secretary 
“Congratulations to my friend and @AmericanU colleague @AmbassadorRice! She will be a great leader of the Domestic Policy Council.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund President 
“Congratulations to @AmbassadorRice on this important appointment!” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance
“Congratulations to @AmbassadorRice on this important appointment! We’ve got a lot of work to do to create good jobs & raise wages, support caregivers & families, strengthen our democracy & make real progress together. Let’s do it!” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
“We are elated that @JoeBiden will tap gun safety champion Susan Rice as White House Domestic Policy Council Director. @AmbassadorRice has been outspoken in addressing gun violence as the national security issue and public health crisis that it is.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Shannon Watt, Moms Demand Action
“Ambassador Susan Rice will bring a depth of experience and knowledge to the DPC. This is a fantastic choice! Eager to get to work with @AmbassadorRice on gun policy…” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
United State of Women
“Susan Rice has been breaking through barriers and fighting for a better world for decades. We are SO excited for @AmbassadorRice to be the White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council!”  [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Cecile Richards, Supermajority
Love that ⁦@AmbassadorRice⁩ will head the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. She is a strategic, effective leader committed to economic and racial justice. [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Black Women’s Roundtable 
“Congratulations @AmbassadorRice on a historic nomination as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council! #BlackWomenLead #PoweroftheSisterVote” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Aimee Allison, She The People
“Congratulations @AmbassadorRice on this key appointment. Very excited for your leadership on domestic issues.” [Tweet, 12/10/20]
Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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