The long road to Ben Carson's appointment to HUD Secretary may be almost over. The retired neurosurgeon was first appointed by then President-elect Trump on December 5 and had a full hearing in front of the Senate on January 12. Since then, Carson has seen many of Trump's other appointees confirmed, such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who received his confirmation on February 13.
Now, a day after President Trump's first address to Congress, the Senate has voted 62-47 to advance Carson to a confirmation vote.
Carson has no experience in the housing field, so his nomination as HUD secretary came as a surprise.
Chairman of The Collingwood Group Tim Rood believes Carson’s lack of experience may work to his advantage. “Dr. Carson is an intelligent, impassioned, and empathetic individual,” Rood said in an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox Business News. “Sometimes the very best policy makers are those who listen; and sometimes, good leaders who are not steeped in the subject matter are better listeners than those who believe they have all the answers.”
Carson has been critical of HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule, which was cited by outgoing HUD Secretary Julián Castro as one of the greatest achievements of his two-and-a-half year tenure heading the Department. Castro has previously expressed concern that Carson would roll back key HUD initiatives such as the AFFH Rule, telling NPR that “I'd be lying if I said that I'm not concerned about the possibility of going backward over the next four years.”
Senate confirmations for Energy Secretary nominee Rick Perry, Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta will follow in the weeks to come to complete President Trump's Cabinet.
According to TIME, Carson's hearing will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 2nd. TIME will also be streaming the hearing live.
Editor's Note: This story is still developing, check back for more info throughout the day.