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Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced Tuesday that they will vote to confirm retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as the nation’s next secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Brown said he would give Carson, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the department, “the benefit of the doubt” based on assurances he’d received from Carson that he would address issues such as lead hazards, fair housing and homelessness.
“Dr. Carson is not the nominee I would have chosen to lead HUD, due both to his lack of experience and his often troubling public statements over the last three years,” Brown, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement. “But despite my reservations, and my disagreements with some of his positions, I will give Dr. Carson the benefit of the doubt based on commitments he has made to me in person and to this committee.”
Brown added that Carson had promised to uphold the housing rights of LGBTQ individuals and work to bolster housing in the president’s proposed infrastructure plan.
“I will do everything in my power to hold Dr. Carson accountable for making good on his promises,” the Ohio senator said.Warren, for her part, also expressed “concerns about Dr. Carson’s inexperience in the field and his comments on poverty and government dependency,” but said she was reassured by the promises Carson made in written questions to the committee.
The senators’ decision to support Carson, who has never held public office, comes as a surprise. As two of the most prominent progressive voices in the country, Brown and Warren mounted a pointed inquiry into Carson’s views on public housing and the minimum wage during his confirmation hearing last week.Lest we forget, Ben Carson has absolutely zero qualifications. He doesn’t even really know what this agency does. He was chosen because Emperor Tangerine believes that this is the black person agency. There was talk that Democrats would fight to resist at least some of these nominees. It’s now pretty clear that they are all probably going to be confirmed and probably all with Democratic votes. This is just pathetic.Moreover, what does this accomplish? It’s pretty bad when random National Park Service employees understand more about how to resist Trump than Democrats in Congress. They just don’t get it. Except Kirsten Gillibrand, which is why I increasingly think she’s the frontrunner for 2020. Even both of my home state senators voted to confirm Mike Pompeo. Even though Jack Reed is so far up the Beltway security world that this is more disappointing than shocking, why would Sheldon Whitehouse do this? At least Whitehouse has some listening sessions this week for Rhode Islanders so we can ask him what the hell he is thinking. Chuck Schumer claims the real fight is going to be over the Supreme Court. We’ll see. Color me skeptical that Democrats have really learned anything from the last 8 years.No doubt McConnell and Ryan are laughing over this opposition. The Democratic Party is the perfect opposition party if you are a Republican. A bunch of words but you know you can bully them into submission with very little effort. And the march to the New Gilded Age continues unabated.