02:34 GMT +318 June 2019
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    HUD Secretary Ben Carson poses with a family size package of Nabisco Oreo cookies following his testimony on Capitol Hill, May 21, 2019

    ‘Oreo?’: US HUD Head Mistakes Real Estate Term for Cookie During Questioning

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    During his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday, US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson got a crash course on property terminology after incorrectly identifying and then guessing what the acronym “REO” means.

    Carson must have had lunch on his mind Tuesday morning as he being was questioned about the discrepancy in some foreclosures by Congresswoman Katie Porter.

    When asked about REOs, or real estate owned properties, the former neurosurgeon's brain immediately went to the world of sandwich cookies.

    After Carson took his best guess at basic terminology associated with his cabinet position, Porter, a former professor who wrote an academic study on foreclosure fraud, went on to explain that those with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans have a higher rate of foreclosure than families that chose government-sponsored enterprises in order to get a third-party loan guaranteed.

    As the hearing was publicly broadcast, social media users wasted no time getting in on Carson's guessing game.

    Carson himself attempted to get in on the fun, but netizens were not having it and immediately flooded his replies.

    Oreo-maker Nabisco has yet to comment on the matter.

    During the hearing, Carson made a point of noting that "hundreds of thousands" of US citizens are awaiting federally subsidized housing, using that fact to argue against subsidizing housing for undocumented immigrants.

    "If in fact you want to explain to the American citizens on the waitlist… why we should continue to support families who are not here legally?" Carson questioned. 

    Moments later, Rep. Nydia Velázquez said Carson was "talking from both sides" of his mouth, considering he sees an issue with housing availability, yet requested "$9.6 billion less for HUD's budget for fiscal year 2020."

    Rep. Maxine Waters also blasted Carson and HUD during the hearing, saying the "department is actively causing harm" by proposing to slash rental assistance and recommending a "cruel proposal" to deny undocumented immigrants subsidized housing, even if they are staying with a legal resident. 

    More shade concerning the secretary's knowledge of his job was thrown by Rep. Carolyn Maloney after Carson claimed the cuts to rental assistance are "common sense" because you "take care of your own first."

    "Mr. Secretary, the 'D' in HUD does not stand for deportation," Maloney responded, noting that banning undocumented immigrants from federal housing and the hike in payments could each displace the 25,000 mixed-status families currently living in federally subsidized housing.

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    Tags:
    cookies, foreclosure, loans, subsidies, housing, immigration, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Maxine Waters, Carolyn Maloney, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Capitol Hill, United States
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