Secretary Carson Testifies on HUD Budget, Disaster Recovery

The House Financial Services Committee recently held an oversight hearing to discuss current HUD activities and programming with HUD Secretary Ben Carson. He defended the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to HUD’s budget. He emphasized that the HUD budget is based on evidence and that he wants to ensure that HUD’s efforts lead people out of poverty. Carson referenced private-public partnerships like the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) as keys to increasing the availability of affordable homes. Democrats pointed out, however, that the president’s budget request eliminates programs like the HOME Investment Partnerships program and CDBG that encourage public-private partnerships.

During the hearing Carson also stated that he had no intention of abandoning Puerto Rico. "The people from Puerto Rico have contributed greatly to the culture of America," he told Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), the top Democrat on the panel. His comments came after President Trump issued a series of tweets on Puerto Rico on Thursday.

"We cannot keep [the Federal Emergency Management Agency], the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!" Trump wrote in the first of a series of tweets. Pressed by Waters if he agreed with the president's tweets, Carson reiterated his support for Puerto Rico.