Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) on Tuesday got into a contentious exchange with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson over his department’s budget cuts that she says are harming safety in public housing.
During a hearing held by House Financial Services Committee, Pressley aggressively questioned Carson about the importance of living in safe housing for young children.
“Given your medical background, perhaps you could weigh in on the health consequences of failing to invest in safe housing,” she said. “Yes or no: Is stable and safe housing a social determinant of health?”
“It sounds like you have not been here and heard most of the testimony,” Carson replied.
“Please just answer the question,” she said. “Is stable and safe housing a social determinant of health?”
“There is no question that it is important…” Carson began.
“Yes or no?” Pressley insisted.
“No question that it’s important,” Carson replied.
“It is well documented that health problems such as lead poisoning, asthma, and injuries from trips and falls — especially among our senior population — can be linked to substandard housing conditions,” she continued. “Yes or no: If left unaddressed, do you believe the substandard public housing conditions pose a risk to tenants’ physical, mental and emotional health?”
“Yes or no, can you answer me some questions yourself?” Carson replied.
“You don’t get to dictate what my line of questioning is!” Pressley shot back. “You’re a very smart man, you understand the question, please answer it.”
“You already know the answer,” Carson replied. “Reclaiming my time.”
“You don’t get to do that!” Pressley replied.
“Oh,” said Carson.
Watch the full video below.
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 21, 2019
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