Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the confirmation of Representative Marcia Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Chief Judge Merrick Garland as Attorney General and Michael Regan as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to President Biden’s cabinet by the end of the day. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, the Senate has a packed schedule. By the end of the day, the Senate will have confirmed another three members of President Biden’s cabinet.
First up is Representative Marcia Fudge to serve as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. What an excellent choice for the job. She has represented the people of Ohio in Congress since 2008, and before that served as the first African American and first female mayor of Warrensville Heights in Ohio. She has a difficult job ahead of her: millions of Americans are behind on the rent, and three million homeowners are in forbearance. At the same time, we are on the verge of passing major assistance for renters and for homeowners. As the incoming Secretary, I know Rep. Fudge will implement that assistance with alacrity. And, of course, I will be focusing—among other issues in housing—on public housing, which I know she cares about a great deal as well.
Later this afternoon, we will move to the confirmation of Merrick Garland to become Attorney General. After Donald Trump spent four years—four long years—subverting the powers of the Justice Department for his own political benefit, treating the Attorney General like his own personal defense lawyer, America can breathe a sigh of relief that we are finally going to have someone like Merrick Garland leading the Justice Department, someone with integrity, independence, respect for the rule of law, and credibility on both sides of the aisle. He understands that the job of Attorney General is one to protect rule of law, unlike the previous Attorneys General under President Trump, who too often just bowed to his whim and his will, when it was against rule of law.
It is confounding, in light of all that, that Republicans have chosen—some of them, anyway—to delay his nomination, particularly in the aftermath of the Capitol attacks. But he will be confirmed today, despite their attempts to stonewall the process.
And finally, Mr. President, the Senate will confirm Michael Regan to serve as EPA Administrator. Once again, the change between the previous administration and the incoming administrator will be dramatic. Under Donald Trump, the EPA weakened environmental protections, fudged the science, completely ignored climate change—to potentially disastrous effect, unfortunately.
It is high time the Senate confirm someone like Michael Regan, who has made environmental protection the cause of his career, to lead the agency and set it back on its proper footing.
Once we finish with the confirmation of these three nominees, the Senate will have confirmed 16 cabinet-level officials. That’s in addition to passing a massive COVID bill and conducting an impeachment trial of the former president—and despite getting a late start to our work thanks to a delay in the organizing resolution.
The Senate is going to keep up the pace. President Biden deserves to have his team in place, working for the American people.