In a heated exchange this Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) angrily ripped into Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and the recent purchase of a $30,000 dining set was the least of her concerns.
During his testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Warren briefly mentioned the scandal enveloping the HUD office over the dining set’s purchase, but her main focus was what she saw as Carson’s failure to address housing discrimination, which is one of HUD’s main objectives. As The Huffington Post reported earlier this month, Carson removed anti-discrimination language from HUD’s mission statement — a move he backpedaled on only went news of it went viral.
“Mr. Secretary, a lot of people are criticizing you for spending tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on fancy furniture, and, don’t get me wrong, I think scamming the taxpayers is a scandal,” Warren said in clip flagged by RawStory. “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.”
“We are going backwards,” she declared. “It is HUD’s job to help end housing discrimination. 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.”
According to Carson, Warren failed to “characterize things in any way close to what is accurate.”
“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,” Warren continued. “I asked you to make your case and all you can say is ‘compliance costs were high.’ That does not explain how it is you were going to delay enforcement of those rules…”
Carson interrupted her, saying that he felt he explained his version of the facts “quite well.”
“…You won’t even look at the data that’s come into HUD,” Warren asserted, glaring angrily at Carson. “That’s not a commitment to ending housing discrimination.”
Watch the exchange in the video below:
Featured image via screen grab