Democrats on a House Appropriations Committee subpanel pressed Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD has become an obstacle to fair housingOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court to hear ObamaCare appeal | Washington state confirms 4 more coronavirus deaths | FDA expects 1M coronavirus tests by week’s end | White House expands virus task forceWhite House adds VA secretary, CMS chief to coronavirus task forceMORE Wednesday on the departments proposal to slash funds for housing assistance.

HUDs fiscal year 2021 budget request asks for $48 billion, a cut of $8.6 billion or 15 percent compared to the current levels.  

This is woefully inadequate to the task at hand, said Rep. David PriceDavid Eugene PricePelosi vows House will promote its own ‘non-menacing’ 2020 agenda regardless of presidential nomineeBiden cinches support from third NC House DemocratHousing advocates decry Trump budget cutsMORE (D-N.C.), chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee.

The cut comes at the expense of 43 percent of public housing funds while also eliminating programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, Home Investment Partnerships, Community Development Block Grant and Choice Neighborhoods.

Though Price said there are a handful of bright spots in the overwhelmingly grim picture HUDs new budget presents, modest investments are more than offset by the draconian cuts and unrealistic program eliminations.

That White House has previously said budget cuts are an effort to reduce the deficit, which has hit $1 trillion since Trump was elected.

In his opening statement, Carson said HUDs budget proposal ensures that the people HUD serves continue to receive rental assistance while recognizing that difficult budget choices need to be made to prevent future generations from inheriting a mountain of debt.

Carson acknowledged the programs on the chopping block have proven successful, and suggested that states do more to pick up the tab.

Its very difficult to get the concept across that I like those programs, I think we like those programs, Carson said. Can we afford them when we continue to create the kind of debt that were going to pass on to the next generation and ruin their lives?”

I think those programs should be funded by the state, not necessarily by the federal government.

Price and Rep. Norma TorresNorma Judith TorresRep. Torres pens letter to VP citing concerns over ‘public charge’ rule effect on coronavirus outbreakSchiff hauls in .5M in Q4US to send asylum-seekers to Honduras, preventing claims from being made in America: reportMORE (R-Calif.), pressed Carson on HUDs newly enacted policy that bars families with mixed immigration status from obtaining housing assistance, a move the administration has admitted wouldnt cut housing costs. 

Carson argued HUD is adhering to the Housing and Community Development Act of 2018, making the case for the 100,000 families [of U.S. citizens[ waiting in line [for housing assistance].

If we dont like it, change the laws, he said. 

In several heated exchanges, Reps. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyKhanna introduces bill to add a third gender option on US passportsHillicon Valley: Officials worry about Nevada caucus technology after Iowa | Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei | Workers at Kickstarter vote to unionize | Bezos launches B climate initiativeThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bloomberg to face off with rivals at Nevada debate MORE (D-Ill.) and Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkDemocratic candidates gear up for a dramatic Super TuesdayDemocrats spar with DeVos at hearing, say Trump budget would ‘privatize education’Jeffries: Trump budget is a ‘declaration of war on the American dream’MORE (D-Mass.) confronted Carson on a Trump administration HUD policy that requires transgender people seeking housing assistance to enroll in shelters based on their gender assigned at birth. 

“I dont disparage anyone, Carson said. I think everybody gets equal rights. No one gets extra rights and sometimes people interpret that as being against someone.”

Carson claimed to have letters from women’s groups that say they are uncomfortable with transgender women being allowed to stay at domestic violence shelters. 

When you have a single-sex shelter and its there specifically for women who are abused and then people come in who do not appear to be women but they say they are women and you have to accept them, does that impinge upon the rights of those women? Carson asked. 

Quigley accused the administration of enabling discrimination against transgender people “based on how they look.”

“All due respect, Mr. Secretary, a person who doesn’t see how the trans community and the LGBTQ community as a whole are being discriminated against has been living under a rock, Quigley said.