The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee slammed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson following his hearing before the committee in which he presented a "draconian" budget.
"America is facing an affordable housing crisis, and President Trump’s budget, which Secretary Carson struggled to defend today, is painfully out of touch with this reality," Rep. David Price (D-NC), the chairman of the appropriations panel, said in a statement. "The administration cannot claim to address these challenges while simultaneously slashing the HUD budget by nearly 20 percent."
Prince added that Carson's "draconian budget would put thousands of current tenants at risk of going without a roof over their heads" and would also "eliminate vital programs" that provide financial and housing opportunities for vulnerable groups, including homeless veterans.
According to the appropriations chairman, the Housing secretary's performance before the committee "highlighted the human cost of HUD’s failures."
"Since 2003, at least eleven tenants died from carbon monoxide poisoning in public housing units, including two recently in Columbia, South Carolina," Price said. "Additionally, HUD has been unacceptably slow in distributing recovery funding to communities in North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere that are facing catastrophic impacts following natural disasters."
"These are true emergencies," he said. "Housing should be a front-burner issue for our nation."
NPR reported that Republicans were also disapproving of Carson's HUD budget.
"Just like last year, we're unlikely to agree on a lot of the things you've put forward," Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the ranking GOP member of the HUD appropriations subcommittee, told the secretary during the hearing.