March 2, 2017 / 3:58 PM / a year ago

Senate approves Carson for housing secretary job

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to confirm retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.

Dr. Ben Carson is sworn in to testify before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Carson, who ran for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and later endorsed Trump, becomes the only African-American in the Trump Cabinet. The Senate confirmed his appointment by a vote of 58 to 41.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Ben Carson, his nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), after their visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTSZNMT

Carson was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence later on Thursday.

During his confirmation hearing in January, Carson, 65, told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that he would monitor any potential conflicts of interest between his agency and properties controlled by Trump.

He also told lawmakers he was fit to lead HUD, an agency whose mission includes helping the poor get housing, even though he has sometimes criticized its work.

Reporting by Eric Walsh; Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Paul Simao and James Dalgleish

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