Senate committee approves Ben Carson as HUD secretary

Retired neurosurgeon will almost certainly head top housing agency

Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images)
Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images)

Retired neurosurgeon and one-time presidential candidate Ben Carson was approved by a key senate committee to become the new head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Tuesday confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination of Carson as housing secretary, the Associated Press reported. The full senate now needs to cast its vote, though it’s little more than a formality at this point.

Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon who also vied for the Republican nomination for president, was nominated for the position in December, just one month after saying that he likely wouldn’t join Trump’s cabinet, telling the Washington Post that he would be “like a fish out of water.” He has no experience running a government agency and has never been elected to office.

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Last week, Carson testified before the committee about his qualifications to lead the nation’s top housing agency. During the first hearing, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Carson if he could promise that no HUD money would benefit Trump’s business holdings. He wouldn’t answer the question directly.

“It will not be my intention to do anything for any American particularly, it’s for all Americans,” he said at the time. [AP] — Kathryn Brenzel