It has recently been announced that retired neurosurgeon and former presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson has been appointed by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
In a statement released on Monday, Trump stood behind his decision to select Carson, detailing Carson’s intelligence and passion for community. “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” stated Trump. “Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services Rep. Maxine Waters had quite a different take on Carson’s new post.
“Dr. Carson’s nomination to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is frightening,” she stated. “He may be a brain surgeon but he is not qualified to run HUD. Donald Trump knows this. During the Republican primary, he called him a liar, pathological, and even violent. Dr. Carson himself has said he is not qualified to lead a federal agency. Now, we are expected to forget these disqualifying statements by both of them and entrust Dr. Carson with overseeing HUD, which has a budget of $47 billion.”
With the reliance of millions of Americans on receiving affordable housing assistance through HUD, Waters expresses her concerns for not having a more viable appointment. “Millions of Americans rely on HUD assistance to help them access safe, decent, and affordable housing,” she continued. “And they are not all in the inner cities; they are in rural and suburban areas as well. HUD provides critical investments in these areas to spur economic development and house the most vulnerable. This is no easy task. The rural and urban Americans who benefit from HUD programs deserve a strong, qualified leader at the helm of this important agency. Dr. Carson is not this person. We know it, Donald Trump knows it, and yes, even Dr. Carson knows it.”
As Secretary of HUD, Carson would be responsible for fair housing opportunities, programs concerned with the nation’s housing needs, and development and improvement of the nation’s communities. Carson does not have any previous experience in government.