Carson: ‘The Rental Assistance Program Is Essential’

By Melanie Arter | January 12, 2017 | 12:33pm EST
HUD Secretary nominee Dr. Ben Carson (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – HUD secretary nominee Dr. Ben Carson said Thursday that “the rental assistance program is essential” and he considers it “cruel and unusual punishment” to withdraw entitlement programs without providing an alternative.

“I think the rental assistance program is essential, and what I have said, if you’ve been reading my writings is that when it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative route,” said Carson under questioning by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

 



Menendez asked, “You proposed that every federal agency should trim their budgets with a 10 percent across the board cuts year after year, and I am concerned that it appears that you believe that some of the very programs that I have come to know as a mayor, as a state legislator, as a member of Congress to empower, promote and improve our communities encourage what you call dependency.”  

“So given that record of your views about poverty and housing, I’d like to get a sense from you, do you truly believe in the mission of HUD? For instance, should the government continue to provide rental assistance to the more than 4.5 million low-income households across this country who are currently receiving it, and who use that to find a place to call home?” Menendez asked.

“First of all, if you follow carefully what I’ve been saying, the concept of cutting across all the different departments was presented as a concept – in other words, not favoring one group or another group. I’ve modified that much later on to one percent, but the point being we can never seem to cut, because people have their programs, and they say this one’s sacred, and this one’s not,” Carson said.

“So the point being, if we can find a number on which we can agree and begin to cut back, we can start thinking about fiscal responsibility. Bear in mind, we are approaching a $20 trillion national debt,” Carson added.

“I appreciate that. My specific question is, do you agree that the government should continue to provide rental assistance to the more than 4.5 million low-income households across this country?” Menendez asked.

“I think the rental assistance program is essential, and what I have said, if you’ve been reading my writings is that when it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative route,” Carson replied.

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