Carson testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, discussing his tenure as HUD secretary and his priorities for the department.
Warren made mention of the scandal currently plaguing his office ― that it spent $31,000 of taxpayer money on a dining set for his office ― but she was quick to call out the secretary for failing to advance HUD’s mission of ending housing discrimination. Earlier this month, HuffPost reported that Carson removed anti-discrimination language from HUD’s mission statement, then he backpedaled on the decision once news of the language change went viral.
“Mr. Secretary, a lot of people are criticizing you for spending tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on fancy furniture, and, don’t get me wrong, I think scamming the taxpayers is a scandal,” Warren said after a fiery line of questioning. “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.”
She described how housing discrimination has exacerbated the wage gap between white families and black families in America.
“We are going backwards,” she said. “It is HUD’s job to help end housing discrimination. 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.”
Carson protested Warren’s account of his tenure, saying she mischaracterized his work but she was welcome to say whatever she wanted.
“I really resent that remark,” she shot back, before laying into Carson once again.
Last year, Warren angered the progressive community by voting to advance Carson’s nomination to be HUD secretary out of committee. She said he’s not the nominee she wanted, but he “made good, detailed promises.” After continued backlash, however, she voted against his final confirmation when it was before the full Senate.
Watch the full clip of Thursday’s clash in the video below.