WASHINGTON (AP) — Housing Secretary Ben Carson is defending sharp budget cuts facing his agency, saying his department is committed to "doing more with less."
President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal calls for cutting $7 billion from the $48 billion budget for the Housing and Urban Development Department. That includes gutting the popular $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which funds a variety of local projects across the country.
Carson says there has been some "mission creep" with the program, like paying for flowers along highways.
But senators from both parties questioned the cuts. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware noted that HUD's own website touts that the CDBG program has created thousands of jobs, supported tens of thousands of single-family home rehabilitation projects and helped over 200,000 seniors.