Maxine Waters Scolds GOP Congressman for Calling Dem Colleague ‘Selfish’ During Ben Carson Hearing
Sparks flew at a congressional hearing when Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) called a Democratic colleague “selfish,” drawing return fire from the colleague in question, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and a rebuke from Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA).
Trump Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, and was repeatedly questioned about his agency’s plan to evict more than 55,000 American children from public housing because one or more members of their families are undocumented immigrants.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was first to question Carson about the plan, repeatedly asking him where the displaced children would go. Carson told Maloney, at length, that “we are following the law,” but did not reveal a plan for those children. Maloney pointed out that the children in question are all either legal residents or citizens.
Later in the hearing, Velazquez spent much of her time speaking out about the policy, and about Carson’s budget request. She began by reading a statement from Carson regarding what he called “an affordable housing crisis in this country, and asked him “Do you know how many people are in the waiting list for public housing and Section 8 vouchers?”
“There are hundreds of thousands,” Carson guessed, to which Velazquez replied “No, there are 4.4 million people.”
She pointed out that the proposed rule would only free up 25 to 35 thousand units, and said “So, you are going to put children on the streets to open up 25 to 35,000 units? And these are American children. Where are they going to go?”
“The question to you sir is why, if you recognize that there is a housing crisis in our nation, that there are 4.4 million people in a waiting list,” she continued, “why did you request 9.6 billion dollars less for HUD’s budget for fiscal year 2020, including zeroing out the capital fund and requesting $350 million less for the section 8 program?”
Velazquez excoriated Carson over his budget request for several minutes, and concluded by saying “Sir, this budget is shameful. It’s immoral. it fails American citizens. Just for the sake of scoring political points.”
After answering several short questions from Velazquez, Carson responded to her criticism of the budget by saying “We have a very substantial affordable housing crisis, and there are two ways to approach it. Continue to throw money at it, which has been done for a long time without solving the problem, or ask yourself why do you have that problem of escalating prices.”
“Mr. Secretary, they continue to ask a questions and not allow you time to answer them,” Rep. Posey said following Velazquez’s questioning. “That’s pretty selfish, pretty bad behavior, so, if you want any time to answer anything you just give me a thumbs up and I’ll yield sometime to you.”
“What did you say?” Velazquez said, as Carson replied “Thank you, I appreciate that, I mean it does seem a little silly to have a hearing where you ask someone questions and you can’t answer it. Seems like more of a platform to make a speech.”
“Would the gentleman yield?” Velazquez asked, to which Posey replied “No.”
“You call me selfish? By fighting here for children in America?” Velazquez said. “Shame on you!”
Posey concluded his questioning by telling Carson “I am embarrassed by the way you’re treated in this committee.”
“Let me remind you,” Rep. Waters said after Posey’s remarks, “members will refrain from impugning the personal motives of other members.”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) then pointed out that “the member controls their five minutes, the witness controls the five-minute opening statement, and many of our witnesses have a outstanding bully pulpit outside this room. To then turn and say to members they don’t control even their five minutes is a denigration of our role as members of this committee.”
Watch the clip above, via the Washington Post.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]