Ben Carson was questioned about his leadership at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and he is pushing back.
One of the issues that came up in a contentious House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday was a HUD rule that would enforce an existing law that only U.S. citizens or legal residents have access to federal housing benefits.
The same HUD rule would amend the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 to make sure that people in the country illegally don’t displace Americans from getting housing assistance.
The rule could mean as many as 55,000 children who are believed to be in households with people who are in the country illegally could be affected.
“Let me be clear,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said to Carson at the hearing. “Housing is a fundamental human right, and the displacement of families should be regarded as the public health crisis that it is.”
Pressley said that Carson should be able to “weigh in on the health consequences of failing to invest in safe housing,” given his experience as a pediatric neurologist.
“Yes or no: Is stable and safe housing a social determinant of health?” Pressley asked.
Carson responded healthy housing is important.
But Carson told Breitbart News the Democrat lawmaker’s concern about children being displaced — like that of many of her leftwing colleagues — doesn’t extend to all children.
“Children from other places take priority over children from our own country?” Carson said. “They don’t seem to want to answer that question.”
“And the people who spend all of their time [on] tearjerking stories about these 55,000 children are very much the same people who advocate for late-term abortion,” Carson said.
“That is particularly offensive to me as a pediatric neurosurgeon who operated on a lot of babies that were 26, 27, 28 weeks gestation,” Carson said. “And they’re going to kill babies even beyond that time.”
“That makes absolutely no sense, and it’s extremely hypocritical,” Carson said.
“You sit there, and you say you’re cruel to these kids, but then you turn around and you’re ready to cut another kid’s head off. Really? Are you kidding me?” Carson said.
Carson brought up his pro-life stance and Democrat hypocrisy when it comes to caring for children after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) criticized his behavior at the hearing on Twitter.
Since you brought it up… I know what it's like to actually be sleepy, especially after 18-hour surgeries and operating on babies in the womb. I hope @IlhanMN knows I care about all people, even those she doesn't recognize as having a right to life. https://t.co/BRl3ibSKM3
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 22, 2019
“Not sure he was fully awake, maybe he meant to reclaim his time back to sleep,” Omar tweeted.
“Since you brought it up… I know what it’s like to actually be sleepy, especially after 18-hour surgeries and operating on babies in the womb. I hope @IlhanMN knows I care about all people, even those she doesn’t recognize as having a right to life,” Carson tweeted back.
Carson also told Breitbart News that “healthy housing” is “absolutely” a priority, including fixing problems at HUD that can hamper achieving that goal.
“One of the most important missions at HUD is to ensure HUD-assisted housing is decent, safe, and healthy,” Carson said in his prepared testimony. “Too often we see evidence where that is not the case. Part of the problem is the general aging of our nation’s housing stock. But part of the problem may be HUD’s own inspections.”
“Shortly after I took office, I ordered a wholesale reexamination of how the Department conducts REAC inspections,” Carson said. “As we continue this top-to-bottom review, we took an important first step by dramatically reducing the advance notice we give public housing authorities (PHAs) and owners prior to their inspections.”
Carson also told Breitbart News that the new rule would give affected families at least six months to make arrangements, and the window can be extended twice.
“So that’s 18 months, which is plenty of time for Congress to actually address this issue, which is what they are supposed to be doing,” Carson said of the broken immigration system. “They can address this; they can address DACA.”
“They can address a whole host of things if they will simply sit down and do their job,” Carson said.
Carson said at HUD he’s trying to do his job to help struggling Americans.
“We have millions of American citizens who have been waiting an average of 2 1/2 years to get housing assistance,” Carson told Breitbart News. “So what do we say to those people if you want to give preference to those people who are here illegally?”
But even with the ongoing attacks, including Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) calling on Thursday for Carson to resign for being “deceitful and inept,” the former physician said he is determined to find a cure for HUD.
“It’s a job that needs to be done, and I’ve been called to do it,” Carson said. “And I’m going to do the best that I possibly can to turn this agency around and make it operate more like a business and to actually get people out of poverty rather than keep people mired in those conditions.”
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