Kaine will oppose Carson after Brown, Warren back nomination

Kaine will oppose Carson after Brown, Warren back nomination

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineKaine hits Trump over shutdown threat: If you don't want to work, take some extra 'executive time' Dem senators tell Trump he doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to launch preemptive strike on North Korea McConnell must go nuclear: Abolish the legislative filibuster MORE (D-Va.) announced Monday that he would oppose Ben Carson’s nomination to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), citing his “zero experience” in that area.

In a statement, Kaine said he would vote against Carson on the Senate floor after the former neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate was cleared unanimously from the Senate Banking Committee.

“Putting someone in charge with zero experience in housing policy or urban development sends a message that the Department’s work is a low priority. I strongly object to this,” Kaine said in a statement. “Just as some positions demand medical expertise, HUD deserves a leader who embraces the Department’s mission and possesses the skills needed to run the nation’s largest housing and community development programs.”

Kaine, who ran last year as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE's vice presidential pick, is viewed as a more moderate Democrat. But his opposition to Carson comes after liberal stalwarts on the Banking Committee felt blowback from their base for letting Carson’s nomination pass without objection.

Democratic Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTrump accuses Dems of 'treasonous' behavior Former Ohio football star faces conservative rival in GOP primary fight Dems press Trump for 'Buy American' proposals in infrastructure plan MORE (Ohio) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGovernment watchdog finds safety gaps in assisted living homes David Crosby: Shared dislike for Trump could reunite Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Dem senators tell Trump he doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to launch preemptive strike on North Korea MORE (Mass.) both decided to support Carson’s nomination, saying they had heard enough in his hearing and in private conversations with Carson to support him.

Both are among the more vocal liberals in the Senate Democratic caucus. But both are also up for re-election 2018 — and Brown is running in a state Trump won.

Many liberals were vocally frustrated with the pair greenlighting Carson, particularly as part of a broader opposition to Democrats helping fill Trump's Cabinet.

Warren even felt compelled to further explain her support, taking to Facebook to explain why she voted for Carson despite her “deep, profound concerns” about his inexperience.

“Dr. Carson’s answers weren’t perfect. But at his hearing, he committed to track and report on conflicts of interest at the agency. In his written responses to me, he made good, detailed promises,” she wrote.

Kaine’s announced opposition, after 11 Democrats agreed with committee Republicans to quickly move his nomination, could be a sign that Democrats are feeling increased pressure to dig in against Trump’s team.

Kaine announced his opposition on the same day that Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Trump called for unity — he didn’t even last a week Overnight Defense: GOP plays hardball by attaching defense funding to CR | US reportedly drawing down in Iraq | Russia, US meet arms treaty deadline | Why the military wants 6B from Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) announced he would oppose five of Trump’s nominations, including his picks to head the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services Departments, though not Carson.