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Political Fireworks as HUD Secretary Carson Testifies to Congress

U.S. Department of Housing and Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson testified before the Financial Services Committee yesterday. The media had plenty to report after the hearing.
May 22, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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George Sheldon

Most of the media coverage of HUD Secretary Carson's hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), focused on the gaffes and awkward tension of the hearing.

The hearing brought Secretary Carson to task for proposing major cuts to the HUD budget, proposing a rule that would reportedly displace 55,000 children from public housing, and also proposing rent increases for subsidized households (an idea that was later rescinded).

Aaron Rupar, writing for Vox, called the hearing a "disaster," and "in trying to explain these proposals, Carson demonstrated a shocking level of condescension toward members of Congress, as well as a lack of familiarity with basic housing terminology."

In coverage for The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz focused on the Secretary Carson's mistaken understanding of the term REO, which stands for "real estate owned." Carson thought the term was Oreo, like the cookie. That gaffe led to a sharp exchange with Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), that the congressmember shared on Twitter.

Writing for Politico, Katy O'Donnel focused on the strong words by Committee Chair Maxine Waters: "Ticking off concerns with an 'outrageous plan' to reduce rental assistance, delays in providing disaster aid to Puerto Rico and a 'cruel proposal' to bar undocumented immigrants from subsidized housing, Waters told Carson, 'the department is actively causing harm.'"

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Published on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Vox
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