On Monday, Rep. Al Green tore into Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson during a congressional hearing on proposed budget cuts of around $6 billion to HUD.
Green wanted specific numbers from Carson, asking for an itemization of the cuts. When Green pressed him specifically on public housing, Carson said that the cuts would be “in the neighborhood of” $2 billion to $3 billion.
Green began to get more frustrated when Carson would not give him specifics on cuts to housing vouchers and community development block grants.
“If you don’t know, I will accept that as an answer,” Green finally said, though Carson insisted that he did know but didn’t “want to open the books and look at the numbers.”
Green then informed Carson that he was worried about his constituents, since many of them used the vouchers, and he wanted to be able to warn them if there were going to be cuts. He then tore into Carson for a belief that he said those around Carson had that “the rich need more” and poor people “could do more with less.”
He also lambasted Carson over comments he made earlier this year that people with the “right mind set” could pull themselves out of poverty.
“Poor people are not poor because they choose to be poor,” Green told Carson.