Senate committee sets confirmation hearing for Carson
Washington — A Senate committee has set a hearing for next week on the nomination of Detroit native Dr. Ben Carson to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has scheduled the hearing for 10 a.m. Jan. 12 on Capitol Hill.
President-elect Donald Trump said in late November he intended to nominate Carson, his former rival for the GOP presidential nomination, for the cabinet post.
If approved by the committee, Carson’s appointment would proceed to a vote by the full Senate.
Carson, 65, is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon who sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination before becoming an informal adviser to Trump. He has never held elected office.
Carson, who now lives in Florida, was raised by a single mother in poverty on the northwest side of Detroit, and he cites that experience when questioned about his qualifications to lead a federal department focused on urban housing policy. HUD’s mission is “to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”
“I grew up in the inner city,” he told Fox News, “and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities.”
Carson graduated from Southwest High School in 1969, got a scholarship to Yale University and later graduated from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He and Trump visited Detroit in September during the presidential campaign, stopping at Carson’s childhood home on South Deacon Street.
If confirmed, Carson would succeed Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio.
Before he was tapped for HUD, Carson said in mid-November that he had decided not to join the president-elect’s cabinet, although he would continue in his advisory role. Carson had also been mentioned as a possible candidate to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the U.S. Department of Education.