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Tipsheet

Tim Scott Shows How Yet Another Biden Nominee Is Woefully Unqualified

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

President Joe Biden has had a penchant for nominating unqualified people, with a consistent theme being that nominees have concerning views, including as it applies to the role they would fill. One of the latest includes Solomon Greene, who has been nominated to Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), even though he has shared views in favor of defunding the police.

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While this radical view is sadly not uncommon for Biden nominees, Greene's position is especially concerning given that his role deals with the policy of safety for public housing. 

Such a view was raised by Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC) of the Senate Banking Committee last week. He said that the nominee "has made numerous public statements disparaging the police and advocating for defunding the police. Because of his extreme, anti-police statements, two national police groups have publicly opposed Mr. Green's nomination since he was first nominated in 2021."

"Worse yet," Scott continued, "instead of taking responsibility for such statements, he pointed fingers and apologized for our taking offense, attempting to deny his anti-police sentiment."

As he presented screenshots of tweets from Greene, Scott offered that "when you look at the comments, clearly there's nothing hyperbolic about the position that I'm taking as it relates to the concept or the statement that Mr. Greene would really not be that dissuaded from finding ways to use the money for the police officers, particularly in some of the most devastated communities for something else."

Among the national police groups in question is the National Association of Police Organizations, Inc. 

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In a letter from March 15 addressed to Scott and Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the group expressed concern that "Mr. Greene has a significant record of supporting anti-law enforcement statements in his writings and on social media, including calls to 'defund the police,'" which they said "shows an antipolice bias that should disqualify him for a prominent role in the federal government."

While the letter does acknowledge Green's "right to hold and express these views," it also adds that "it is profoundly concerning to us that a nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at HUD has harbored such an openly hostile and defamatory viewpoint of police" and if "Mr. Greene is confirmed to this position, there is no way to assure those views will not be perpetuated, which would negatively impact public housing community views against the officers who serve them."

"We want to move forward with improving our relationship with our communities and enhance their trust in our profession, but if such sentiments are held by high-ranking members federal government, this will be difficult to do. The men and women of the law enforcement community put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities and they deserve the support and respect of their government," the letter also warned. 

Another group, the National Sheriffs' Association, also sent a letter last Congress to Brown and then Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA), in which they mentioned that "[Law enforcement officers] deserve the support of senior officials in the federal government who help to set policy. Unfortunately, Mr. Greene has failed to provide such support by repeatedly making alarming statements that denigrate the police and advocate for defunding the police."

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Screenshots show that Greene has tweeted since-deleted comments such as "No More Money for the Police." He also tagged the Founders for Justice and the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) in a tweet, saying they "had it right all along." Both groups have been clear about divesting from the police. On December 17, 2020, NFG posted "Strike Watch 2020 Review: Defund the Police to Build Worker Power."

He retweeted Shaun Donovan, the HUD Secretary under the Obama administration, who claimed riots from 2020 were "free speech" in response to a tweet from then HUD Secretary Ben Carson. 

Greene also shared a Vox article: "Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is."

It's not just his tweets, though. Greene is listed as a co-author for the Urban Institute's "Reimagining an Antiracist America—Starting with Our Neighborhoods."

The piece claims that "today, too many families of color live in neighborhoods suffering from disinvestment, deprived of quality services and amenities, and endangered by overpolicing."

"Reversing these inequities requires more than recapturing funding from policing. We remain convinced that bold action is required to tear down the legacy of separate and unequal neighborhoods. Communities across the country need to dismantle exclusionary barriers and rebalance spending to invest more equitably across neighborhoods," the piece also claims in its closing. "Though these goals may be ambitious, they are essential to our nation’s democracy and shared prosperity, and they are long overdue."

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Scott, who shared his passion for police reform and having grown up in poverty, also went on to illustrate further in his remarks how a lack of police could hurt certain areas. "I think some things are not political, some things are just so personal that it is impossible to deny the actual impact of fewer officers, not more officers, in some of the most challenging areas," Scott said, also offering that "I take great offense on behalf of those who today suffer under the weight of crime that is burdening the communities." He went on to list Democratic-run cities and how they have been affected by crime, including D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and Cleveland.

Bringing the issue of crime and the importance of a police presence back to the nomination at hand, Scott shared that "and so, for me, this is such an important issue that having someone in the role over at the Housing and Urban Development [Department] in any way, shape, or form who doesn't seem to appreciate the importance of law enforcement’s presence is just a challenge and makes it impossible for me to vote for someone like that."

As The Federalist highlighted about Greene's remarks during his committee hearing, the Democratic members tried to provide cover for the nominee, including and especially Brown, but also Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). 

Upon being asked by Brown if he supports defunding the police, Greene answered, "I do not support defunding the police," prompting the chairman to claim that "talk about defunding the police today is a distraction; my colleagues know that." 

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Fetterman, pointing to Brown's remarks, said that "the chairman was really drilling down on it, but I really just want to put a sharper, sharper point on it." He went on to also ask, "You do not embrace at all the defunding police, correct?" To which, Greene responded, "I do not, Senator."

Scott again pressed the issue later in the hearing, aptly pointing out that "those are your comments; those are your retweets," also offering, "but I’m not going to politicize that issue because I think there are other issues that are incredibly important."

One of those other issues includes how Scott is "extremely concerned" about Biden’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations and "the potential impacts this will have on affordable housing," though Greene could not share too convincingly whether he too was concerned. 

Greene is not the only Biden nominee to cause concerns, far from it. Townhall has been extensively covering the nomination of Julie Su for Secretary of Labor.

Although she was voted out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) earlier on Wednesday along partisan lines, she may or may not have enough votes to pass the Senate, especially when it comes to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a more moderate member who is up for reelection in 2024. Su's record, radical comments, and her confirmation hearing from last Thursday have raised concerns and continue to do so. 

A statement from the Stand Against Su coalition warned in part on Wednesday that she "is the most radical and flawed nominee for Secretary of Labor in recent memory" and that "It is critical that the Senate step up and vote against Su's nomination."

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