Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson poses for a photograph before speaking with The Associated Press in his home in Upperco, Md., Dec. 23, 2015.
Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP

As Carson struggles at HUD, some lawmakers call for his resignation


Ben Carson, who never really wanted to be a cabinet secretary, isn’t faring well as the nation’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Last week, for example, the Government Accountability Office determined that Carson broke the law when he ordered a $30,000 dining room table set for his office and an $8,000 dishwasher for his office kitchen.

That’s separate, of course, from the ethics investigation Carson is facing.

The secretary’s top policy goal – the creation of “EnVision Centers” – has become something of a fiasco, and just this week, Carson made clear during congressional testimony that he still doesn’t understand the basics of housing policy, despite overseeing U.S. housing policy at the federal level for the last two years.

The day after the testimony, Carson defended his plan to evict tens of thousands of undocumented children from public housing by arguing that many of his critics are pro-choice, and are therefore “hypocrites” for saying they care about children.

Not surprisingly, some lawmakers have decided it’s time for this debacle to end.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) on Thursday called for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to resign, saying he is “inept” and lied to Congress about rule changes affecting transgender people.

Wexton asked Carson this week whether he intends to eliminate the “equal-access rule,” that “ensures equal access to individuals in accordance with their gender identity” in HUD programs. He replied, “I’m not currently anticipating changing the rule.”

The next day, HUD unveiled a new anti-trans rule.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) also appeared on MSNBC this week and was asked whether she thinks Carson should be in his current position. “No,” she replied, “I do not.”

I don’t doubt Carson has supporters who would disagree, though I haven’t yet heard any of them present a coherent case.