The nomination of Ben Carson, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was approved Tuesday by the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
The former GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon’s nomination was advanced by voice vote. He now awaits a confirmation vote by the full Senate.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the Senate panel’s top Democrat, said he was assured by Carson’s written responses indicating support for such measures and for committing to address lead exposure in low-income housing. During Carson’s confirmation hearing this month, Brown pressed him on issues pertaining to anti-discrimination rules.
“Dr. Carson is not the nominee I would have chosen to lead HUD, due to both his lack of experience and his often troubling public statements over the last three years,” Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
At his confirmation hearing, committee members questioned him on his stance on public housing and government backstops for 30-year mortgages. He said he supports public housing as a temporary stopgap but not as a long-term solution to poverty, and that he wants to lean on the private sector to address housing issues.
Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on Tuesday said he hopes the full Senate will soon confirm Carson.
“He is committed to carrying forth the mandate of HUD and learning more from people directly affected by HUD policies,” Crapo said in a statement.