Kaine will oppose Carson after Brown, Warren back nomination

Kaine will oppose Carson after Brown, Warren back nomination

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Green Day's 'American Idiot' climbs UK charts ahead of Trump visit 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 ClintonDHS secretary: No sign Russia targeting midterm elections at 2016 level Twitter suspends Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks accounts after indictments Elon Musk donated nearly K to Republican PAC, filings show 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 BrownSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices could offer a way forward in fight against mushrooming costs MORE (Ohio) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments Midterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters 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 SchumerRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Trump's latest win: More Americans are saying, 'I quit!' 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.