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Biden Introduces Additional Cabinet Nominees

Rep. Marcia Fudge delivers remarks after being introduced as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs.
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Rep. Marcia Fudge delivers remarks after being introduced as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs.

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday introduced five additional cabinet nominees to join his administration in January, tapping several alumni of the Obama administration.

To oversee the Agriculture Department, Biden has chosen Tom Vilsack, the former head of the agency under President Obama and a two-term governor of Iowa.

Many progressives had hoped to see Rep. Marcia Fudge, whom Biden has tapped to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, nominated as secretary of agriculture. Critics of Vilsack's nomination had hoped Fudge would diversify the typically white male-led department and better focus on food insecurity and the agency's historic abuse of minority farmers.

Fudge, Biden said, "understands how to manage challenges and forge solutions at a local level," as a former mayor.

Also announced on Friday was Biden's nomination of Denis McDonough, a former White House chief of staff, to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs. Susan Rice, also formerly of the Obama administration, has been tapped to direct the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Katherine Tai, if confirmed, will serve as U.S. Trade Representative — the first woman of color to serve in the post.

"To each of you on this team, you have my gratitude," Biden said in announcing his picks.

"And to the American people, help is on the way. I promise we're not going to let you down."

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Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.