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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.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.