The Senate confirmed retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as the new secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in a 58-41 vote, primarily along party lines, Thursday.

Carson has said he will work to help underprivileged communities.

“I feel that I can make a significant contribution, particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need,” Carson said in December. “We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow in domestic  policy studies at the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that he is confident Carson will work to strengthen families.

“The major cause of child poverty in America is the collapse of the family in low-income communities,” Rector, an authority on poverty and welfare,  said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal. “Dr. Carson can serve as a powerful spokesperson for the restoration of the family, the decrease in poverty, and the improvement of human well-being across the nation.”

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