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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.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Net neutrality on the line under Biden

Federal net neutrality rules are back on the table in the Biden administration, after being nixed by Trump, but now might be complicated by the debate over social media companies' behavior.

Axios Re:Cap digs into why net neutrality matters and what comes next with Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge and host of the Decoder podcast.

House grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted 326-78 on Thursday to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm President Biden's nominee for defense secretary as early as this week.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.