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Carson approved to run HUD by Senate panel, including Elizabeth Warren

Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson testified earlier this month.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson testified earlier this month. (Zach Gibson/Associated Press)

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson won unanimous approval Tuesday from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The consensus included Senator Elizabeth Warren, who had vigorously questioned Carson during hearings earlier this month.

“I continue to have concerns about Dr. Carson’s inexperience in the field and his comments on poverty and government dependency,” Warren said in a statement on Tuesday about the vote.

But she praised the former GOP presidential primary candidate for a series of pledges he made during his confirmation hearings regarding affordable housing, equal access rules, and President Donald Trump’s businesses.

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“In light of these promises, I support Dr. Carson’s nomination, and look forward to working with him to ensure that he follows through on his commitments,” Warren said.

At his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Warren grilled Carson about whether he would be able to guarantee that ‘‘not one dollar’’ of HUD money would go to Trump or his family. The president has handed management of his real estate and other businesses to his sons but has not divested from the organization.

If confirmed by the full Senate, the celebrated neurosurgeon would lead a sprawling agency with 8,300 employees and a budget of about $47 billion.

Senator Michael Crapo of Idaho, the committee’s Republican chairman, praised Carson and his career, saying HUD ‘‘will benefit from having a secretary with a different perspective and a diverse background.’’ Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the panel’s top Democrat, said he had reservations but welcomed Carson’s promises to address lead hazards in public housing.


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.