Trump se­lects cam­paign ri­val Car­son for HUD job

Re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon had been con­sid­ered for Health, Hu­man Ser­vices

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Jonathan Lemire and Julie Pace

new york» Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, mov­ing closer to fill­ing his Cab­i­net, chose for­mer cam­paign ri­val Ben Car­son on Mon­day to be sec­re­tary of the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment.

Trump’s de­ci­sion, an­nounced by his tran­si­tion of­fice, comes as the real es­tate mogul con­tin­ues a se­ries of con­fer­ences with aides and oth­ers — in­clud­ing un­likely fig­ures such as for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore — aimed at form­ing his ad­min­is­tra­tion and its poli­cies. Trump said he was thrilled to nom­i­nate Car­son, de­scrib­ing the re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon as hav­ing “a bril­liant mind.”

The dis­cus­sion at that time cen­tered on spec­u­la­tion that Car­son might be se­lected to head the sprawl­ing Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices.

“Ben shares my op­ti­mism about the fu­ture of our coun­try,” Trump said, “and is part of en­sur­ing that this is a pres­i­dency rep­re­sent­ing all Amer­i­cans.”

Car­son would over­see a bud­get of nearly $50 bil­lion that pro­vides rental as­sis­tance for more than 5 mil­lion house­holds. De­mand for that as­sis­tance is high be­cause of hous­ing costs ris­ing faster than in­comes. HUD also pro­motes home own­er­ship with the Fed­eral Hous­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der­writ­ing about one in six mort­gages is­sued in the U.S. The agency also is charged with en­forc­ing fed­eral fair hous­ing laws.

House Demo­cratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Car­son has no cre­den­tials for the job and was a “dis­con­cert­ing and dis­turbingly un­qual­i­fied choice.” She said the coun­try de­serves some­one with “rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence to pro­tect the rights of home­own­ers and renters.”

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