WASHINGTON — Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass is urging President Joe Biden to name a fellow California Democrat and progressive stalwart, longtime Rep. Barbara Lee, to be the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Bass said in an interview Tuesday.

The Cabinet post has been filled on an acting basis by Deputy HUD Secretary Adrianne Todman since March 22, when Marcia Fudge stepped down from the top job.

Fudge “played a tremendous role. She moved on and I’m sure will continue making a contribution in other ways, but I think a perfect person to follow her would be Barbara Lee because Barbara Lee is the same type of person in the sense that she’s a bold leader; she has worked on this issue for many, many years,” Bass said in a phone interview with NBC News.

The mayor of America’s second-largest city, who served alongside Lee in the House from 2011 to 2022, said the pair worked together on legislation ensuring that young people can find housing after leaving the foster care system and fought to include rental assistance and funding for the homeless in Covid relief aid.

“I think her history of fighting for marginalized populations would serve her well,” Bass said of Lee.

The three women — Bass, Lee and Fudge — share something in common: They are all former chairwomen of the Congressional Black Caucus. Bass had endorsed Lee for the open Senate seat in California, but Lee didn’t qualify in last month’s primary for one of the top two spots to advance to the November election.

After more than a quarter century serving in Congress, Lee, 77, will be retiring from the House early next year.

Biden has not indicated whom he plans to name as the next head of HUD, which is responsible for federal housing policies and programs including mortgage and loan insurance under the Federal Housing Administration; Community Development Block Grants to aid communities with economic development and housing rehabilitation efforts; and rental assistance through Section 8 certificates or vouchers for low-income families.

The White House is looking at several candidates but no final decision has been made, according to a senior administration official. The official said they believe HUD is a very important Cabinet position, which is why they are evaluating a few options.

Todman, the acting secretary who is also a Black woman, is one possibility, the official said.

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