(USA Features) Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said Tuesday her agency is not prioritizing American citizens over people in the country illegally when it comes to getting shelter for the homeless.
“The answer is no,” she said in response to a question about prioritization from Just the News. “We are doing everything we can possibly do to take any person living in this nation off the streets. That’s kind of our posture. I think that is exactly where we are headed.”
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The question came in response to notification that HUD’s Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is “providing 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country to help Americans find and remain in housing.”
Fudge was announcing the allocation of vouchers under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan at a news conference with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, North Carolina Democratic Rep. David Price and others, the outlet reported.
The legislation includes $5 billion in vouchers to house homeless people during a three-year period.
“Former Trump administration HUD Secretary Ben Carson was working on amending federal regulations in 2019 to prioritize citizens over illegal immigrants for public housing assistance. The status of that effort under the Biden administration was not clear until now,” Just the News reported.
Separately, Politico reported that an independent federal investigative agency found that Fudge violated the Hatch Act earlier this year after weighing in on Ohio’s 2022 Senate race.
During a White House press briefing March 18, Fudge pushed back on a question about who should take her place in the Ohio 11th District congressional seat she vacated to take her post.
However, she did offer an opinion about potential Democratic candidates who will vie for retiring Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s seat.
“I have two friends that are thinking about it,” Fudge said, according to a March report in The Washington Post. “Tim Ryan of course is thinking about. I understand Nan Whaley is thinking about it. I mean, I think we’re going to put a good person in that race no matter who we choose, but they’re both friends. I think we have a good shot at it. I know people have written off Ohio. I haven’t written off Ohio. I believe we can win the Senate race.”
A day later, she issued a statement admitting her mistake.
“I acknowledge that I should have stuck with my first instinct and not answered the question. I take these things seriously and I want to assure the American people that I am focused on meeting the needs of our country,” she said, Politico reported.
But a week later, Americans for Public Trust, a right-leaning group, filed a complaint against the HUD secretary with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, alleging she violated the Hatch Act, which limits most political activities among federal employees.
In a subsequent letter to the group, Ana Galindo-Marrone, chief of the OSC Hatch Act Unit, confirmed the violation, Politico reported.
“By stating, for example, that ‘we have a good shot at it’ and ‘I believe we can win the Senate race,’ Secretary Fudge showed support for the Democratic Party with respect to the Ohio Senate race while speaking in her official capacity. Accordingly, OSC has concluded that she violated the Hatch Act during her official appearance at the March 18 press briefing,” Marrone wrote.
But due to Fudge’s public apology, Marrone noted that OSC has closed the matter with a warning to Fudge.
“Please note that Secretary Fudge has been advised that if in the future she engages in prohibited political activity we will consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in further action,” she wrote.