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) ManchinOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Senate Dems lose forced vote against EPA power plant rule Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE (W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings MORE (Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (N.D.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCritics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles Trump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 MORE (Ohio), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterBennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Red-state Democrats worry impeachment may spin out of control MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyWatchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Ind.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSenators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall 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. 
 
 
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 SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy 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.