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Ben Carson accuses Maxine Waters of 'shamelessness,' hypocrisy on homelessness
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson sent a scathing letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) over her criticism of President Trump's approach to combating homelessness, accusing the congresswoman of being hypocritical about the issue.
In the letter, Carson accused Waters of exuding "shamelessness" for criticizing Trump over reports about the administration's potential plans to crack down on homelessness in California, according to a copy obtained by The Hill. Politico first reported on the letter sent by Carson.
"My mother always taught me that people shouldn't throw rocks, especially while they live in a glass house," Carson wrote. "Because of that wise lesson, I was a little surprised to read your hostile letter to President Trump regarding the record number of homeless Americans in California, particularly in your district."
Waters in late October sent a letter to the White House demanding answers about its reported plans to push homeless people off the streets in California. The administration has discussed tearing down existing homeless camps in areas such as Los Angeles, according to The Washington Post.
"Your shamelessness knows no bounds," Waters, whose congressional district encompasses the southern part of Los Angeles county, wrote. "From day one of your presidency, you have attacked our democracy and now you have set your ire on the 550,000 Americans who on any given night experience homelessness."
Carson shot back at Waters over the remarks, accusing her of "shamelessness" in how she has approached combatting homelessness.
"Shamelessness is a career politician of 30 years laying blame," he wrote. "Shamelessness is allowing more than 55,000 Americans to live on the very streets they represent."
Carson argued that "the most compassionate" solution to the homelessness problem would be to get as many Americans off the streets as possible. He also noted that the congresswoman had refused his multiple requests for meeting.
"Basic manners elude you and it seems that instead of producing results, you're more interested in producing cheap headlines at the President's expense - like a true career politician," he said.
In response, Waters said in a statement to The Hill that "Carson is like a duck out of water" and that he has been a "complete failure at HUD."
"Most recently, it was reported that he and this disgraceful President want to raze homeless camps, round up persons experiencing homelessness and force them to live in unused and unsuitable federal buildings," she added.
"All of this demonstrates his lack of competence as HUD secretary and the cruelty of this Administration. Instead of whining about his inability to get on my schedule, he should take some time to focus on the over half a million people experiencing homelessness in this country."
Waters pointed to her bill to to provide $13.2 billion in funding to solve issues pertaining to homelessness, arguing that "we have yet to see any productive solutions come out of this dysfunctional and corrupt Administration."
"[Carson] should contain his tantrums and leave his mother out of this," she said.
Waters has been outspoken in her criticism of the Trump administration and its policies on homelessness and housing. During a House committee hearing in October, the congresswoman claimed that the administration's "housing finance reform plan would be disastrous for our housing system."
"[The administration] has consistently pushed harmful housing policies and proposed slashing and eliminating key housing funding for those most in need," Waters said.
In his letter, Carson said that "the most important thing we can do at the federal level for housing affordability is to provide for a thriving economy where jobs are growing, wages are rising, and unemployment is failing."
"Thanks to Trump's policies, that is exactly what we have today - a booming economy," he wrote.