In a tense exchange, Rep. Ayanna Pressley did not come to play with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and pressed him on questions about deplorable public housing conditions and the organization’s failure to protect the health of its subsidized housing residents.
And then things went left.
During a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee entitled “Housing in America: Oversight of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Carson appeared less than capable or willing to offer up any understanding of the issues and refused to answer Pressley’s questions about HUD’s proposed budget cuts, CSPAN reports.
Carson’s tried to defend a drastic 16.4 percent budget cut proposal from HUD’s budget. And he was taken to task about the proposed rent increases on poor people living in subsidized housing.
“Yes or no — is stable and safe housing a social determinant of health?” Pressley asked.
“Sounds like you have not been here and heard most of my testimony,” Carson said.
“Please just answer the question, reclaiming my time,” Pressley replied. “Yes or no — is stable and safe housing a social determinant of health?”
“Ah, there is no question that housing is an important part of health,” Carson said, still refusing to answer the questions outright.
Carson then tried to attack Pressley’s line of questioning by saying “ask me some questions yourself and stop reading.”
And in a surprise move, Carson tried to pull a fast one and said he was “Reclaiming my time,” to which Pressley pushed back and scolded him: “You don’t get to do that.”
Rep. Maxine Waters chimed in to let Carson know: “The time belongs to the gentle lady.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 21, 2019
Waters also tore into Carson about the “outrageous” plan to cut rental assistance and called it “cruel” to ban undocumented immigrants from subsidized housing
“The department is actively causing harm,” Waters scolded the once revered surgeon.