Warren Pummels Ben Carson Over Dining Set, Housing Discrimination: ‘Scandal That Should Get You Fired’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren hammered HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Thursday over what she claimed was his reluctance to enforce laws intended to reduce housing discrimination.
Carson appeared at a Senate oversight hearing, and took a pummeling from a number of lawmakers — including Sen. Sherrod Brown, who said he regretted voting to confirm Carson.
Warren’s criticisms of the Housing Secretary were even more scathing.
“A lot of people are criticizing you for spending tens of thousands in taxpayer money on fancy furniture,” Warren said. “And don’t get me wrong, I think scamming the taxpayers is a scandal.”
“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.”
“In 1968, the typical black family had one sixth as much wealth as the typical white family,” she continued. “Now, it is one tenth. We have gone backwards since the Civil Rights Era. It is HUD’s job to help end housing discrimination and 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,” she concluded.
“I don’t think that you have characterized things in any way close to what is accurate,” Carson replied. “But you’re welcome to say whatever you want.”
“I really resent that remark,” Warren fired back. “I have asked the question about how it is that delaying enforcement of rules that were already in place to help end housing discrimination would help. I asked you to make your case. All you could say is compliance costs were high. That does not explain how it is that you were going to delay enforcement of those rules and that was going to help end housing discrimination.”
“I think I explained it to you quite well,” Carson said, but Warren wasn’t letting it go. “I would not describe it as quite well,” she replied.
Watch the contentious exchange above, via C-SPAN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]