A Trio of New Biden Associates
Updated: Mar 19
Biden's three new associates are predictably left leaning, although were elected with bipartisan support. The first of which is Michael Regan who is considered the top environmental regulator in North Carolina and was just selected as Joe Biden’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He is associated with tackling industrial toxin cleanup, as well as offering assistance for communities affected by this type of pollution.
The Democratic chairman of the environmental panel is Senator Tom Carper, who offered words of praise for Regan, noting that he often offers “practical solutions to clean our air and our water, while building a more nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation.” Meanwhile, Republican opposition was less excited about this selection, fearing a return to the emboldened actions of the Obama administration that so frequently tightened restrictions on businesses and reduced their ability to complete their work. Shelley Moore Capito, leading Republican on Carper’s panel, says that overly environmentally conscious policies from two administrations ago “absolutely devastated [her] state and other energy-producing states,” and worries the same might happen again. Regardless of some Republican’s fears, Regan ran with bipartisan support and is now the first African-American man to run the agency.
Additionally, Marcia Fudge has been confirmed to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge, hails from Ohio and has represented different aspects of the state for nearly 15 years, and so has a lot of necessary experience upon entering her office. Her last act before accepting the position was voting in favor of Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill – a bill that offered hundreds of billions of dollars to everyday citizens and small businesses alike. During her first hearing after her nomination in January, Fudge made it clear that a priority of hers was to help the needy and the passage of this bill is her first step toward that goal.
Similar to Regan, Fudge was heavily backed by her Democratic cronies. Another Ohio Democrat, Sherrod Brown, who serves as Chairman for the Senate Urban Affairs Committee feels that Fudge is right for the job. He cites the firsthand knowledge of the state of the nation she earned through working in urban areas and understanding that “because of discrimination, because of redlining, because of decades of policy that funneled resources and jobs away from Black and brown communities,” there is a lot of policy work that needs to be done to correct these problems.
Contrarily, Republicans aren’t as thrilled with Fudge’s inception. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania warns that she may bring a “toxic and detrimental impact on the working relationship that ought to be a constructive relationship,” based on past comments Fudge has made aimed at the Republican party. In the past, Fudge has referred to Republicans as “a disgrace to this nation,” saying “they have no decency, they have no honor, they have no integrity.” Again, despite the naysaying of some outspoken politicians, Fudge also received some bipartisan votes.
Finally, Merrick Garland is the third of the new trio announced as new Attorney General on Wednesday after he served as the chief judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Garland previously served under Bill Clinton’s administration and was nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court during Obama’s tenure as president before ultimately being blocked by a Republican-controlled Senate.
Now, though, he has garnered bipartisan support, earning his confirmation in a strong 70-30 vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer refers to Garland as "someone with integrity, independence, respect for the rule of law and credibility on both sides of the aisle." Meanwhile, Schumer’s opposition, Mitch McConnell was heard justifying his vote in favor of Garland: "because of his long reputation as a straight-shooter and legal expert." Merrick Garland is grateful for his new role as Attorney General. He offered a short speech upon accepting the title, during which he gave insight into some of his family history. Where he states that he came “from a family where [his] grandparents fled anti-Semitism and persecution," the United States "took us in and protected us. I feel an obligation to the country to pay back." Having politicians that feel they owe a debt to the country is ideal because they will work to the best of their ability.
These three new additions to the Biden Administration, although most were elected with bipartisan approval, continue to give the Democrats an advantage over Republicans. They all have liberal-leaning tendencies but hopefully will heed the warnings of the opposition before enacting any damaging legislation.