HUD Secretary Ben Carson has received a lot of public anger over a $31,000 dining room set he purchased using tax dollars, but Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) thinks there's a larger "scandal" Carson should answer to.
Carson appeared at a Senate oversight hearing on Thursday, at which Senator Warren drilled him on his choice to delay implementation of the 2015 HUD rule intended to decrease housing discrimination, CNN reports.
Warren got straight to the point, asking Carson why decided to delay the rule and how the delay would help matters. Carson attempted to defend his choice, noting that "dozens and dozens" of cities petitioned HUD to delay enforcing the rule due to the high costs.
“Excuse me, Secretary Carson,” Warren interrupted. “Let me just remind you. This is a question about following the law. The law clearly says ‘affirmatively further fair housings.’ It doesn’t say cut back on that because you’re concerned about compliance costs.”
Warren then went on to reference the dining room set scandal making the waves in media and beyond.
“A lot of people are criticizing you for spending tens of thousands in taxpayer money on fancy furniture,” Warren continued. “And don’t get me wrong, I think scamming the taxpayers is a scandal. 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.”
Warren then dropped the bomb on Carson with hard numbers.
“In 1968, the typical black family had one-sixth as much wealth as the typical white family,” she said. “Now, it is one-tenth. We have gone backwards since the Civil Rights Era. It is HUD’s job to help end housing discrimination and 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.”
You can view footage from Carson's hearing appearance via C-SPAN below: