Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Senate Confirms Carson as HUD Secretary

Senate Confirms Carson as HUD Secretary

WASHINGTON, March 2 Ben Carson, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead US housing policy, won Senate approval on Thursday.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development in a 58-41 vote.

According to USA Today, Carson, 65, will now be in charge of a government agency with an annual budget of $47 billion and employs 8,300 employees.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees billions of dollars in housing assistance to low-income people.

He also told the Washington Post in November that he would be a "fish out of water" in a Trump cabinet and was unlikely to serve in it. Carson has never held public office and has no housing policy experience. But how exactly Dr. Carson will put his own stamp on the nation's housing policy remains unclear.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of OH, the ranking Democratic member on the committee that oversaw Carson's nomination hearing, fired off a preemptive defense in January after voting to move Carson's nomination to the full Senate.

"The decision to put Dr. Carson in such a critical role in our federal government reveals that Trump and Republicans are not serious about addressing the housing challenges faced by hardworking American families", she continued. "If Dr. Carson doesn't follow through on his commitments, I will be the very first person he hears from - loudly and clearly and frequently".

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) facing criticism from the left over initial support for Carson, his confirmation vote hewed more closely to party lines.

"Yes, I adamantly disagree with numerous outrageous things that Dr. Carson said during his presidential campaign", she said in a Facebook post outlining her reasoning. It also enforces fair housing laws and offers mortgage insurance to poorer Americans.

Carson has not shared specific plans publicly for the department under his leadership. "We want it to be a Band-Aid and a springboard to move forward".

Two months later, Carson argued that being gay is a choice, "because a lot of people go into prison straight and when they come out they're gay".

"We're going to do great things in our African-American communities", he added.

In 1987, Carson became famous for pioneering surgery to separate twins joined at the back of the head.

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