Merkley Statement on Carson HUD Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after President-Elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

“Ben Carson has given me plenty of reasons to question his judgment, and I’m curious to hear why he and the new Administration think he is qualified to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“Carson has previously taken himself out of the running for a cabinet position due to his lack of political experience. He has no professional experience in either government or housing policy. And his campaign website when he ran for President didn’t even mention HUD.

“I am also deeply concerned that the incoming Administration has proposed someone who believes ‘poverty is really more of a choice than anything else’ to lead American urban development. We need policies coming out of HUD that reflect the needs of people struggling to find affordable housing in supercharged housing markets like Portland’s. Telling people that their lack of means is their own problem is not a solution.

“It looks like we will have plenty to discuss at Dr. Carson’s hearing.”

Merkley sits on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which will consider Carson’s nomination.