In an uncomfortable episode during a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson a series of specific mortgage-related policy questions that he was utterly unable to answer.
One exchange is emblematic of the entire back and forth:
Porter: Do you know what an REO is?
Carson: [Pause] An Oreo…
Porter: No, not an Oreo. An REO.
Carson: Real estate…
Porer: What’s the “O” stand for?
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019
Toward the end of the conversation, Carson said that he’d be happy for her to work with people at HUD on her questions. She brushed him off, saying she’d already done that in her past job, and that her job now is to ask him questions.
Porter previously oversaw California’s $25 billion national mortgage servicing settlement under then-Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Carson responded with a cheeky tweet after the hearing:
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019
This isn’t the first time Porter used her expertise to leave witnesses at her committee’s hearings tongue-tied. She completely flustered JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon when she grilled him about how his employees are supposed to make ends meet at their current salaries.
The sandwich cookie itself couldn’t resist joining the fray:
??? stands for "?eally ?xcellent ?REO (cookie)." Everyone knows that.
— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) May 21, 2019