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Carson On Track To Be Next HUD Secretary

| by Ray Brown

Former neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is on his way to getting confirmed as the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously approved of Carson's nomination to lead HUD and will now go on to the Senate, which the GOP controls with 52 seats.

Among the Democrats who approved of Carson's nomination was Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. According to the Washington Post, Brown admitted Carson wasn't his preferred choice for HUD Secretary.

"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 in his testimony and written responses," Brown said.

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Other Democrats have staunchly opposed Carson's nomination.

"There is no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials to hold a position with such immense responsibilities and impact on families and communities across America," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a press release

But Carson has picked up the endorsements of four former HUD Secretaries, including Henry Cisneros, who served his role under former President Bill Clinton.

"As secretary, we know that Dr. Carson will learn about what works, develop new innovations, measure outcomes, and achieve real results to improve communities throughout America," said Cisneros, Mel Martinez, Alphonso Jackson, and Steven Preston in a letter to the Senate, according to Politico.

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Carson also managed to impress people who work directly on public housing issues. Lisa Rice, executive vice president of the National Fair Housing Alliance, a coalition of groups against housing discrimination, said she was "pleasantly surprised" by Carson's remarks during his Jan. 12 confirmation hearing.

"He said some things today during the hearing that gave me heart," Rice told the Los Angeles Times.

And Shola Olatoye, chairwoman of the New York City Housing Authority, the nation's largest public housing organization, said she is willing to work with Carson.

"I think that he cares about families and he cares about this country, and as more and more Americans live in urban centers, HUD’s role in stabilizing and helping to grow those places is crucial," Olatoye told the New York Daily News.

Sources: Washington Post, Politico, Nancy Pelosi, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News/ Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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