CLOSE
Leave a comment

Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson speaks to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, prior to the start of Carson's confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his experience and credentials Thursday to serve as the nation’s new housing secretary, turning to his life story to show that he understands the needs of the country’s most vulnerable.

President-elect Donald Trump wants Carson, a former White House rival, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a sprawling agency with 8,300 employees and a budget of about $48 billion.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, House and Urban Affairs Committee, the famed neurosurgeon talked about growing up in inner-city Detroit with a single mother who had a third-grade education and worked numerous jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

“I have actually in my life understood what housing insecurity was,” he told lawmakers.

Democrats in the GOP-run Senate questioned his experience. Carson said one of the things he’s learned in private life as part of various boards is how to find a good CEO. He said a good CEO doesn’t necessarily know everything about running a particular business, but he knows how to select people and use their talents.

Carson said HUD’s rental assistance programs are “essential” to millions of Americans. The department, he said, has a lot of good programs, but “the progress perhaps has not been as great as one would like to see.”

He added: “We don’t want it to be way of life. … We want it to be a Band-Aid and a springboard to move forward.”

Ranking Committee Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., grilled Carson about whether he could guarantee that no HUD money would benefit Trump or his family, which has made its fortune in real estate.

“I will not play favorites for anyone. … I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” Carson said.

Carson displayed a softer approach toward the role of the federal government than he sometimes did on the presidential campaign trail. When reminded that he had called for across-the-board agency spending cuts of 10 percent during the campaign, Carson noted that he later modified that amount to 1 percent.

Carson talked about a more “holistic approach” to helping people and developing “the whole person.” For example, he said, HUD could work with other agencies such as the Education and Labor Departments on better access to a quality education and apprenticeship programs to train workers.

Several former HUD secretaries, Democrats and Republicans, wrote the committee in support of Carson. The letter was signed by Henry Cisneros, secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Mel Martinez, Alphonso Jackson and Steven Preston, who worked for President George W. Bush.

The soft-spoken Carson, the only black major-party candidate in the 2016 presidential race, grew up poor. He attended Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School, and was the first African-American named as head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

In 1987, Carson pioneered surgery to separate twins joined at the back of the head. In 2013, he entered the national political spotlight when, during the National Prayer Breakfast, he railed against the modern welfare state. President Barack Obama was sitting just feet away.

Before Thursday’s hearing, Carson had said little publicly about federal housing issues. In a 2015 opinion piece, he criticized an Obama administration fair housing rule as government overreach. At his hearing Thursday, he told lawmakers he would work with local HUD officials to “make sure that fairness is carried out.”

___

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

PHOTO: AP

Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Also On Black America Web:
Find Out What Your Favorite Celebs Did On Instagram (09/01-09/07)
10 photos

4 thoughts on “Ben Carson Defends His Appointment As Housing Secretary

  1. What’s all the hoopla for about Steve Harvey meeting with Trump? Steve is a no nonsense kind of person, and probably met with Trump to try, and decipher what Trump is really about. An online article by NewsOne says that BOTH the Trump, and Obama transition teams tagged Steve to work with Ben Carson on Urban Development. If Steve can help them bring jobs, community centers, etc. to blighted area……then good for them. Remember Steve has had a mentoring program for young males for several years; so he definitely knows how to work with disadvantaged youths.

    • Dr. Larry on said:

      Jackie, I’m not looking for accolades, nor does the Scholar take delight in calling out the weak minded among us. But it must be done in order to have constructive dialog and press forward on the core issues that degrade out communities and quality of life. The frail of mind and spirit will look outward for root causes, police, white privilege, slavery, etc… They, by choice, or blind faith, will ignore the decaying black infrastructure, that we alone are responsible for. Black teenagers with the highest pregnancy rate in the world, highest HS drop out rate, unemployment, drug addiction, crime, single parent households, dependency on social welfare programs, don’t value education. I could go on, but it starts to depress me. We have failed as a race in a country where immigrants come with less than us, and surpass blacks in mere years. President Trump has laid out plans to make inroads on all of these issues in time, but the haters turn their back. Content to wallow in poverty and crime, rather than give credit and support to a rich white man.
      I’m reminded of the movie, “The Blind Side:, where a wealthy, philanthropic, white family reached out and took in Michael Orr (Baltimore Ravens). Taught him the value of education, self respect, hard work, and what a real family structure can accomplish. It is a true story and a wonderful movie, yet it never was featured in black theaters. Why? Because we didn’t want to see or acknowledge white people succeeding where we couldn’t. We would have preferred Mr. Orr fail among us, rather than succeed with whites. Think about the sickness of that for a moment. It’s unfathomable, yet it’s exactly how many blacks are treating President Trump. They’d rather see this country fail, than it succeed under a white. Look for the telltale signs from these haters, “Trump is racist, hates women, Muslims, blacks, orange Hitler, pu@@y grabber, slut wife, etc….” They are easy to spot, live a sad pathetic existence, and will continue to do so, because they’ll be dammed if whitey will get credit for helping them. Though they gladly accept whiteys welfare check every month.
      -Holla’

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

&pubUrl=[PAGE_URL_ENCODED]&x=[WIDTH]&y=[HEIGHT]&vp_content=plembeddf3ixunshlvk&vp_template=3854" ]