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Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) questioned Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson Monday at a congressional hearing on proposed HUD budget cuts of $6 billion.

Green pressed Carson for an itemization of the cuts, starting with cuts to public housing. After tossing around the numbers in his head, Carson said public housing cuts would be “in the neighborhood of” $2 billion to $3 billion.

READ MORE:  For Real? Ben Carson Says ‘Poverty Is A State Of Mind’

Sparks began to fly when Carson declined to reveal how much his department plans to cut from housing vouchers and community development block grants.

“If you don’t know, I will accept that as an answer,” Green told Carson, who eventually said he knows but doesn’t “want to open the books and look at the numbers.”

The congressman informed the secretary that he has constituents who use housing vouchers, and he needs to be able to alert them to what’s coming.

Carson remained silent as Green told him that there’s a belief in Carson’s circle that “the rich need more” and poor people “could do more with less.”

Green reminded Carson, who grew up in poverty, that “poor people are not poor because they choose to be poor,” noting the secretary’s state of mind comments earlier this year.

Carson infamously said in a radio interview that with the “right mind set” individuals could pull themselves up if everything was taken away from them.

Green told Carson that there are many factors contributing to poverty, including discrimination which still exists.

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