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Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Rep. Marcia Fudge. Photos: Tom Williams/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as his Agriculture secretary and Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as his Housing and Urban Development secretary, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The selection of Vilsack is another example of Biden turning to a trusted friend to serve in a key role.

  • The choice of Fudge may appease some members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who lobbied Biden to choose her for the agricultural post. Fudge's planned nomination was first reported by Politico.
  • An announcement could come as soon as this week.

The big picture: Members of the CBC made it a priority to help install Fudge at agriculture to signal that the department was more focused on serving agricultural consumers and not just producers.

  • Biden’s choice of Vilsack indicates he wants the USDA to stay more focused on its traditional roles of supporting farmers ensuring food safety.

Between the lines: Fudge’s departure will shave one seat off Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s razor-thin majority in the House.

  • But Pelosi is likely prepared for her loss. “Look for her to be in the Cabinet,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said on MSNBC Tuesday morning. “It may not be at Agriculture, but she will be nominated to be in the Cabinet.”

Flashback: Vilsack was a prominent Biden supporter in the Iowa caucuses and defended Biden as his campaign limped to a fourth-place finish.

Go deeper

Jan 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

What to expect from the new Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wields the Speaker's gavel on Jan. 3. Photo: Erin Scott/pool/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats plan to reintroduce nine of their most-favored bills during the 117th Congress that began today, but how far the legislation gets will hinge on the outcome of the Georgia Senate races later this week.

Why it matters: Today was filled with pomp and circumstance, including Nancy Pelosi winning another term as House speaker after some recently COVID-positive members came into the chamber to vote in her favor. But whether Republicans maintain the Senate or Democrats win a narrow majority will determine if she and President-elect Joe Biden can enact their agendas.

2021 economy boomed at fastest rate in 37 years

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The U.S. economy surged ahead with a 6.9% annual growth rate in the final months of 2021 and achieved the strongest growth over an entire calendar year since 1984.

Driving the news: New GDP numbers from the Commerce Department show a remarkable acceleration in economic activity, much faster than the 5.3% growth rate analysts expected.

The Fed isn't the only problem investors are worried about

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Federal Reserve will be raising rates, just as the economy is slowing. The markets hate that.

Why it matters: The ugly start to the stock trading year doesn't just reflect Fed-induced agita — investors are also worried about a growth slowdown.