WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — Today Congressman David Scott (GA-13) urged U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to stand up and fight to protect the CDBG program from elimination during the full House Financial Services Committee Hearing. Click here to watch video of Congressman Scott’s exchange with Secretary Carson.
Transcript of the exchange is included below:
Rep. Scott: Secretary Carson, tell me, why do you think President Trump asked you to be Secretary of HUD?
Carson: Probably because before I endorsed him we spent a lot of time talking about what was happening, particularly in some of our disadvantaged communities and how we really needed to recognize that if we are going to succeed as a nation all those people have to succeed as well.
Rep. Scott: Well, let me tell you, it just seems to me that I believe that the President put you there to give cover to cutting and eliminating the CDBG program. Let me tell you why. First of all, this is the crucible of the whole argument. You should be at the forefront of telling the great story of success of the CDBG program.
The fact is that it has created and retained 386,000 jobs for low and moderate income people. The CDBG program has benefited 42 million low and moderate income persons through public improvements, including senior citizens, child care centers, centers for people with disabilities, veterans, and veterans with disabilities. It’s benefited 133 million low moderate income persons through public services like employment training. The funds have been used to assist credit-worthy, working families with down payments and closing cost assistance on their homes.
You should be out here shouting the success of this program but rather, I believe, that the President has you there to give cover to cutting this program and eliminating it. Here’s what the New York Times reported, Mr. Carson, when this issue was brought up. In July of this year, you said that “I know that CDBG has been called out for elimination.” You said, “I know that the CDBG program has been called out for elimination.” Was it President Trump that called that out? Who else would? My impression is that what the President is really saying is that there are problems. Oh and you said this, “I think it was someone on his staff who kind of said, well maybe we should just get rid of the whole CDBG program.
Well, I’m here to tell you Mr. Secretary, I’m not going to let you do that. And I believe we have enough Democrats and Republicans because this is a bipartisan program that is doing well. And you would do well Mr. Secretary, to stand up and fight back in this administration. It needs help when it comes down to dealing with hurting Americans. And you are in this position, being Secretary, not just because of what you said, “Well, even if we cut their funds, I believe that the American people are a compassionate people.”
Well Mr. Secretary, you should know better than anyone that compassion alone won’t do it. It wasn’t compassion alone that got you sitting where you are right now. Somebody had to give you and your family a financial helping hand. We need you to speak up and fight back in this administration.