Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters escalated her recent war of words with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson after he accused her of lacking the basic manners he learned as a child.
“Ben Carson is like a duck out of water and has been a complete failure at HUD. His basic philosophy is antithetical to his duties and HUD’s mission," Waters told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. "If he is sincere in wanting to have a constructive, bipartisan conversation with me, he can start by providing substantive answers to the numerous questions posed in my Oct. 28 letter and public support for the Ending Homelessness Act."
She added, "In the meantime, he should contain his tantrums and leave his mother out of this.”
Carson recently sent a scathing letter to Waters after learning she had gone to the White House in late October with complaints about a sweeping plan to remove homeless people from the streets of California.
“My mother always taught me that people shouldn’t throw rocks, especially while they live in a glass house," Carson wrote to Waters. “Basic manners elude you, and it seems that instead of producing results, you’re more interested in producing cheap headlines at the president’s expense."
Waters, chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, claims President Trump's plan would cut HUD funding by 18%, including the elimination of new funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund.
These are "important programs that are in place to increase the supply of affordable housing targeted for the lowest income households, including those who are experiencing homelessness and those who are on the verge of experiencing homelessness," she reminded Carson.
Waters's Los Angeles district is one of dozens across the country that have fallen victim to an increasing financial and logistical burden attached to a growing homelessness population. The Los Angeles Police Department recorded more than 2,400 arrests of homeless people on assault charges last year.
Trump has complained that Democratic leadership in big cities is partly to blame for the crisis. Earlier this year, he ripped the late Democratic Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose Baltimore district has experienced similar problems. Trump characterized Cummings's district as "rat-infested."
"Shamelessness is allowing more than 55,000 Americans to live on the very streets they represent," Carson said after Waters called the Trump administration's approach to solving America's homelessness problem "shameless."
"All of this demonstrates his lack of competence as HUD secretary and the cruelty of this administration," Waters hit back. "Unsurprisingly, we have yet to see any productive solutions come out of this dysfunctional and corrupt administration."