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Welcome, Madam Secretary! Both Of You!
It's NICE TIME!
Time for your Friday Nice Time reminder that we're still being impressed by the caliber of people the Biden administration is bringing to government. But mostly, we just wanted to show you these terrific official photos from two of our newest Cabinet secretaries, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, both of whom hit the proverbial ground in the last week and started doing the proverbial running — of the US government.
Here's Sec. Haaland yesterday, at her ceremonial swearing-in by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Haaland was officially sworn in in a small ceremony at Interior Tuesday, and began work Wednesday; it's fairly common to do these things twice, we hear.
Also too, we kind of love this tweet today from Secretary Fudge, marking her first week in office.
My first week is in the books. Together, we will tackle the country's housing and homelessness crises. https: //t.co/ON8EgcC0Dn
— Secretary Marcia L. Fudge (@Secretary Marcia L. Fudge) 1616168590.0
Can you say "exudes confidence," kids?
A bit more on that Haaland photo, from Indian Country Today, which is just one of many Indigenous news outlets kvelling over Haaland's confirmation and swearing in. We learn Haaland was sworn in as her daughter Somah held the Bible, and that she wore a turquoise necklace with a pendant of the Zia symbol to represent her home, the Laguna and Jemez Pueblos in New Mexico.
And that ribbon skirt, with rainbow ribbon and corn and butterflies, was sewn for Haaland by Agnes Woodward of New Town, North Dakota:
On Wednesday, Haaland got to work, meeting staff and holding an online briefing for over 15,000 Interior Department staff; she also held her first press interview in her new job, taking questions online from 10 journalists, all members of the Native American Journalists Association.
Also, this is way better than that one doofus on the horse who had his very own special flag raised when he was in the building:
Today, @SecDebHaaland hit the ground listening. She joined virtual meetings with over a dozen Tribes and Tribal-led… https: //t.co/xPVrcHkuIH
— US Department of the Interior (@US Department of the Interior) 1616019799.0
Perhaps a little something like this!
I meant it when I said I believe every one of us shares a common bond: our love for the outdoors and a desire and o… https://t.co/ywzRX4N5KX
— Secretary Deb Haaland (@Secretary Deb Haaland) 1616174627.0
Meanwhile, Secretary Fudge appeared at the daily White House press briefing yesterday, and discussed how her department, using funds in the American Rescue Plan, will address homelessness resulting from the pandemic recession. Cleveland.com has the deets:
Fudge said the American Rescue Plan has provided HUD with $5 billion "set aside to do nothing but address homeless issues." She predicted that in the next 12 to 18 months the federal government can "put a major dent" in the problem by using that money to get as many as 130,000 people off the streets and into rental housing. Other top priorities will include expanding vouchers that help people afford rental units and increasing the affordable housing supply.
"We know that affordable housing is a problem all across this country," said Fudge, who observed that her last vote as a member of Congress was for the American Rescue Plan. "I don't know where my Republican colleagues live, they don't think that there is a problem. But there is. So many of us just choose to ignore it."
And as with so much in the relief plan, Fudge said she'd really like to see many of the temporary measures in the Rescue Plan be made permanent, because people will be hurting for quite some time.
But before all that, there was also this bit of wonderfulness:
This took me back to Church, when Sister Bernadette comes up to do the announcements... https: //t.co/PggxEh3ZjS
— Double L must Rock The Bells (@Double L must Rock The Bells) 1616166174.0
We'll leave you with that, since President Biden will be speaking from Atlanta at 4: 40 and we need to get the livestream up for your Open Thread, BYEEE.