Senate confirms Carson to lead HUD

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Ben Carson to be President Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
 
The final vote was 58-41. Carson needed a simple majority to be approved.
 
Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick MORE (W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Steel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE (Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownPollster says current 2020 surveys like picking best picture Oscar before movies come out Shep Smith: Signing funding bill is a 'loss' for Trump no matter how it's packaged Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race MORE (Ohio), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterHow the border deal came together GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingDrama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Warner, Burr split on committee findings on collusion Overnight Defense: Top general wasn't consulted on Syria withdrawal | Senate passes bill breaking with Trump on Syria | What to watch for in State of the Union | US, South Korea reach deal on troop costs MORE (Maine) joined all Republicans in backing Carson.
 
 
The former neurosurgeon wasn’t a top target for Senate Democrats. 
 
But Carson’s nomination and lack of government experience has divided the caucus. 
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
But red-state Democrats, including Manchin, Donnelly and Heitkamp, voted with Republicans to support him. 
 
Republicans have rallied around Carson’s nomination. 
 
 
“[He] can begin bringing much needed reforms to the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” he said from the Senate floor. 
 
 
“Once Dr. Carson is confirmed we can begin working on several important issues under HUD’s jurisdiction,” he said. 
 
Carson easily cleared the Senate Banking Committee in late January, picking up the support of liberal senators including Brown and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Poll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary MORE (D-Mass.). 
 
Warren defended her committee vote amid backlash from progressive outside groups, writing on a Facebook post: "Yes, he is not the nominee I wanted. But 'the nominee I wanted' is not the test.”
 
Warren didn’t vote for Carson during the Senate’s procedural vote on Wednesday, and she voted against him again Thursday.
 
Carson’s nomination has been largely free of controversy. 
 
 
Democrats have voiced public skepticism about Carson’s qualifications, noting that the onetime presidential candidate also previously questioned whether he was fit to run a federal agency.
 
"Having me as a federal bureaucrat would be like a fish out of water," he said in November, on the heels of rumors that he would be considered for Trump's Cabinet.
 
Carson, a conservative Christian, also received some criticism for suggesting that LGBT Americans don’t deserve “extra rights.” 
 
But neither impeded his nomination. Crapo thanked Brown from the Senate floor for being willing to work with him to get Carson to the Senate floor for a vote. 
 
It is unclear how Carson will shape the agency. 
 
He told lawmakers in his confirmation hearing that he wants to have "listening sessions" with housing officials around the country. He was also noncommittal about upholding an Obama-era rule that beefed up a fair housing law.