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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 ManchinJoe ManchinBiden dispatches Cabinet members to sell infrastructure plan On The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Miners union to back Biden on green energy if it retains jobs MORE (W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampBill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment MORE (N.D.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownGOP eyes new strategy to derail Biden infrastructure plan World passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (Ohio), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThis week: Democrats move on DC statehood Lobbying world The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's infrastructure plan triggers definition debate MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans fret over divisive candidates Everybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (Ind.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines 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 SessionsGarland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings 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.