Congressional Black Caucus chooses new leader: Rep. Marcia Fudge

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Congressional Black Caucus has named Ohio Democratic Congress member Marcia Fudge as its leader for the next two years, according to The Plain Dealer.

The decision, made by members last Wednesday, will give Fudge the responsibility of setting the political agenda for 43 black U.S. House of Representatives members. She will also act as a national spokeswoman on African-American issues.

“I am humbled by the vote of confidence of my colleagues who have selected me to serve as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 113th Congress,” Fudge said in a statement. “Leadership of the CBC will be shared among all officers selected and I will continue to work hard and serve with dedication, the people who sent me to Congress.”

She said she plans to concentrate on health care, unemployment and poverty during her term.

“We call ourselves the ‘Conscience of the Congress,'” Fudge said about the CBC. “We are a collective voice for millions of people around the country who need us to champion their issues and protect their future.”

“I look forward to leading this venerable Caucus, and to speak and act on behalf of its members who share a vision and commitment to move our nation forward,” she added.

She also says she has already developed a solid relationship with House Speaker John Boehner while they were working together on Ohio issues, and she looks forward to helping him understand issues important to the group.

The former Warrensville Heights mayor, who joined Congress in 2008, will assume her new position in January. Her nomination was backed by the current chairman, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, and the top ranking African-American in Congress, Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn of South Carolina.

“We could elect no better chair of the Congressional Black Caucus than Marcia Fudge,” Cleaver said.

“She will be tremendous,” Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson agreed. “I am looking forward to it. She will continue to hold individuals accountable.”

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