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) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE (W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Trump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections On The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions MORE (Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (N.D.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Senators offer bill to prevent relief payments from being seized by private debt collectors MORE (Ohio), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Memorial Day during COVID-19: How to aid our country's veterans Senate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (Ind.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingMemorial Day weekend deals latest economic blow to travel industry Bipartisan senators introduce bill to make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day 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. 
 
 
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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. 
 
 
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. 
 
Senators only questioned Carson for 2 1/2 hours during his confirmation hearing, in contrast to more controversial picks — including Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Memo: Trump tweets cross into new territory Sessions goes after Tuberville's coaching record in challenging him to debate The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE — who faced hours of intense grilling. 
 
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.