Warren battles Carson: Housing discrimination 'the scandal that should get you fired'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday tore into Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump administration ending delay on over B in Puerto Rico disaster aid HUD to roll back Obama-era housing desegregation rule Trump tells California, New York to 'politely' ask him for help with homeless population MORE, saying he should be fired for failing to enforce the agency’s laws. 

“It is HUD’s job to help end housing discrimination. That’s what the law said. You said you would enforce these laws. You haven’t, and I think that’s the scandal that should get you fired,” Warren told Carson during a Senate hearing.

“Well, I don’t think that you have characterized things in any way close to what is accurate, but you’re welcome to say whatever you want,” Carson responded.

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Warren argued that income inequality between black families and white families has gotten worse since the Civil Rights era. She criticized Carson for expressing more concern about compliance costs than about reducing housing discrimination.

“A lot of people are criticizing you for spending tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on fancy furniture. And don’t get me wrong, I think scamming the taxpayers is a scandal,” Warren said.

"But the biggest scandal of your tenure is your unwillingness to do your job and enforce the laws that reduce housing discrimination and segregation across this country," she continued.

Carson has been under scrutiny in recent weeks after it was reported his department spent $31,000 on a new dining set for his office.

Carson announced a few days after the report that he had canceled the order for the furniture.

On Tuesday, he explained that there was a need for new furniture for safety reasons, since a chair had collapsed with someone in it, and someone was stuck by a nail in another instance. He suggested that his wife ultimately decided on the $31,000 dining set.