The renowned retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has won approval from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Next, the full Senate will vote on his confirmation. Despite his lack of experience and knowledge, Congress is giving Carson the benefit of the doubt. The consensus included Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who had vigorously questioned Carson during hearings earlier this month, reports the Huffington Post.
“I continue to have concerns about Dr. Carson’s inexperience in the field and his comments on poverty and government dependency,” Warren said in a statement about the vote. But she praised the former GOP presidential primary candidate for a series of pledges he made during his confirmation hearings regarding affordable housing, equal access rules, and President Donald Trump’s businesses. Warren said she was reassured by the promises Carson made in written questions to the committee, notes HP.
Housing Rights For Some, Not All
“Dr. Carson is not the nominee I would have chosen to lead HUD, due both to his lack of experience and his often troubling public statements over the last three years,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, in a statement. “But despite my reservations, and my disagreements with some of his positions, I will give Dr. Carson the benefit of the doubt based on commitments he has made to me in person and to this committee.” Brown added that Carson had promised to uphold the housing rights of LGBTQ individuals and work to bolster housing in the president’s proposed infrastructure plan. “I will do everything in my power to hold Dr. Carson accountable for making good on his promises,” he added.
Previously, Trump stated, “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. “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.”
Change of Heart
Prior to the vote, Brown and Warren had mounted a pointed inquiry into Carson’s views on public housing and the minimum wage during his confirmation hearing, points out HP. Brown noted that Carson had previously described the Fair Housing Act, a piece of civil rights legislation that HUD is partially responsible for enforcing, as a “failed socialist experiment.” Carson, however, now claims that was he is merely “opposed to central dictation of peoples’ lives,” and allegedly he wants more local control over such programs.
During his GOP presidential bid, BE Politics provided readers an exclusive chance to be virtual participants in a conversation with Dr. Carson when he came to New York and visited our offices. This involved live-tweeting and Periscoping all day.