Ben Carson was confirmed as secretary of housing and urban development on Thursday, The New York Times reports. The Senate voted to confirm the retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate in a 58 to 41 vote. In contrast with other Trump cabinet appointees, Carson, who has no government experience, faced minimal backlash from Senate Democrats.
In the past, Carson has expressed his belief that government assistance creates dependency. "We have generation after generation living in dependent situations," Carson told the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee during his confirmation hearing in January. "It’s not that they’re bad people, it’s that this is what they’ve been given, and it’s all they know in some cases.”
As secretary of housing and urban development, Carson will be tasked with fighting foreclosure, urban blight, and aiding low-income renters. Critics have questioned Carson's qualifications to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency with a 2017 budget of nearly $49 billion.