US Senate panel approves Ben Carson for housing secretary post

This file photo taken on March 5, 2016 shows Republican Presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaking during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference 2016 at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, outside Washington.
This file photo taken on March 5, 2016 shows Republican Presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaking during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference 2016 at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, outside Washington.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Ben Carson, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead US housing policy, won approval on Tuesday (Jan 24) from the Senate committee reviewing the qualifications of the retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate.

The endorsement by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, by a voice vote shown on its website, cleared the way for a full Senate vote on Carson's appointment as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Carson, 65, had promised senators on the committee during a confirmation hearing that he would monitor any potential conflicts of interest between his agency and properties controlled by real estate mogul Trump.

He also told lawmakers during a hearing on Jan 12 that he was fit to lead HUD, an agency that offers housing to the poor, even though he has sometimes criticised its work.